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  1. The Saints were the only Twins affiliate playing Monday night as they began the first of their final three games of the season. Simeon Woods Richardson was on the mound making his final start of the season while Ryan Jeffers continued his rehab assignment. Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints TRANSACTIONS None SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Omaha 6 Box score Woods Richardson Dominates Simeon Woods Richardson made his final start with the Saints Monday night, and he went all out with one of his best performances of the season. Woods Richardson dominated the Royals Triple-A hitters as he threw six innings of one-hit shutout baseball allowing only three walks and striking out seven on 91 pitches and 56 strikes. Having seven starts with the Saints for the season, Woods Richardson’s final numbers in Triple-A for the season include a 2.21 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and 10 walks in 36 2/3 innings of work. In total, Woods-Richardson posted a 2.76 ERA and has thrown 107 1/3 innings of work in 21 starts and one relief appearance for the 2022 Minor League season at both Double-A and Triple-A. Rehab Updates Only one of the three Twins hitters on the Saints roster for rehab assignments was in the lineup Monday night, and that was Ryan Jeffers. Jeffers played well. He went 3-4 and hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat to put the Saints up 2-0 in the first inning. Jeffers's double in the bottom of the seventh put the Saints up 6-0. Jeffers’s only mistake in the game was a fielding error in the top of the seventh which allowed Storm Chasers designated hitter Jackson Reetz to reach first base. With a healthy game for Jeffers Monday night, it is very likely he could be returning to the Twins lineup as early as Tuesday night. Trevor Larnach and Jorge Polanco were both off Monday night. Saints Bats Keep Up with Woods Richardson Jeffers was not the only hitter at the plate delivering for the Saints Monday night. Elliot Soto also went 2-for-3 with two doubles and drove in the Saints' fifth run of the game. Runs three and four came courtesy of an Andrew Bechtold two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Bechtold had just hit a homer in the Saints game on Friday night against Indianapolis, making it his second home run in just three games. Just when it looked as if the Saints were done scoring in the seventh, they put up five more runs on the Storm Chasers with Jeffers double and a grand slam from Cole Sturgeon to give the Saints a 10-0 lead. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K (91 pitches, 56 strikes (61.5 strike %)) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers - 3-for-4, 2-Run HR, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI. PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K What’s next? The Saints play the second of their final three games on the season tomorrow against the Omaha Storm Chasers. First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. CT with Jordan Balazovic on the mound for the Saints against Angel Zerpa of the Storm Chasers. View full article
  2. TRANSACTIONS None SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Omaha 6 Box score Woods Richardson Dominates Simeon Woods Richardson made his final start with the Saints Monday night, and he went all out with one of his best performances of the season. Woods Richardson dominated the Royals Triple-A hitters as he threw six innings of one-hit shutout baseball allowing only three walks and striking out seven on 91 pitches and 56 strikes. Having seven starts with the Saints for the season, Woods Richardson’s final numbers in Triple-A for the season include a 2.21 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and 10 walks in 36 2/3 innings of work. In total, Woods-Richardson posted a 2.76 ERA and has thrown 107 1/3 innings of work in 21 starts and one relief appearance for the 2022 Minor League season at both Double-A and Triple-A. Rehab Updates Only one of the three Twins hitters on the Saints roster for rehab assignments was in the lineup Monday night, and that was Ryan Jeffers. Jeffers played well. He went 3-4 and hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat to put the Saints up 2-0 in the first inning. Jeffers's double in the bottom of the seventh put the Saints up 6-0. Jeffers’s only mistake in the game was a fielding error in the top of the seventh which allowed Storm Chasers designated hitter Jackson Reetz to reach first base. With a healthy game for Jeffers Monday night, it is very likely he could be returning to the Twins lineup as early as Tuesday night. Trevor Larnach and Jorge Polanco were both off Monday night. Saints Bats Keep Up with Woods Richardson Jeffers was not the only hitter at the plate delivering for the Saints Monday night. Elliot Soto also went 2-for-3 with two doubles and drove in the Saints' fifth run of the game. Runs three and four came courtesy of an Andrew Bechtold two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Bechtold had just hit a homer in the Saints game on Friday night against Indianapolis, making it his second home run in just three games. Just when it looked as if the Saints were done scoring in the seventh, they put up five more runs on the Storm Chasers with Jeffers double and a grand slam from Cole Sturgeon to give the Saints a 10-0 lead. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K (91 pitches, 56 strikes (61.5 strike %)) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers - 3-for-4, 2-Run HR, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI. PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K What’s next? The Saints play the second of their final three games on the season tomorrow against the Omaha Storm Chasers. First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. CT with Jordan Balazovic on the mound for the Saints against Angel Zerpa of the Storm Chasers.
  3. Frontline starting pitching was the Twins' most significant need this winter, and the club decided to double down on young pitchers being ready to contribute. Clearly, the pitching pipeline plan failed for 2022, but is there hope for the future? Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints Last winter, it was clear to anyone looking at the Twins roster that the team needed frontline starting pitching. There were other off-season needs, but they only had Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober penciled into the rotation and many other question marks. Minnesota had the financial flexibility to sign frontline starting pitching, but the club decided to go in a different direction. With the pending lockout, the Twins front office watched most frontline free agent starters ink contracts with other organizations. Minnesota's lone signing before the lockout was Dylan Bundy, who figured to fit into the rotation's back half. It was tough to decipher how the Twins expected to fill the rotation, but the team's plan became clear as spring training inched closer. Following the lockout, Sonny Gray was the Twins' biggest offseason pitching acquisition. He was a clear frontline starter and pitched that way during the 2022 season. The team added Chris Archer to join Bundy at the back of the rotation, and Chris Paddack joined the club in a last-minute deal before Opening Day. All these arms impacted the 2022 Twins, but the club wanted to rely on the young pitching in the system to supplement the veteran arms. Derek Falvey was brought to Minnesota because of his experience with the Cleveland organization. During his Cleveland tenure, one of his calling cards was cultivating young pitching, which has been a staple of the Guardians organization. Minnesota was going to start the 2022 campaign with Ryan and Ober in the rotation, but there were expectations that other young pitchers would join their ranks. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case, and Minnesota's pitching pipeline may have taken a step back this season. As the season began, it looked like the Twins had plenty of pitching prospects in the upper minors that had the potential to impact the roster. Minnesota had five upper minors starting pitchers ranked in their top-10 prospects, and others rounded out their top-20 list. Ryan had an up-and-down season as a rookie, but he is on pace to set the team's rookie record for strikeouts. Josh Winder and Cole Sands have combined to pitch just over 80 big league innings, with both missing games due to injury. Louie Varland saw his stock rise the most out of this group as he pitched well in the upper minors before making his big league debut in September. Matt Canterino and Jordan Balazovic were arguably the team's top pitching prospects entering the 2022 campaign, but it was a lost season for both. Canterino dominated on the mound in 13 appearances, but he needed Tommy John surgery before the season's end. Balazovic was on pace to debut in 2022, but he struggled at Triple-A and is now getting back on track. Besides Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson helped his stock the most this season, and he deserves to make some starts for the Twins down the stretch. Many will blame injuries for the Twins' failures during the 2022 season. However, the lack of contributions from the pitching pipeline is also concerning. Not every pitching prospect can be successful throughout their professional careers, and there is hope that some of these arms will get healthy in the offseason. As Minnesota's focus turns to 2023, the front office might not be able to rely as heavily on the pitching pipeline when building next year's roster. Did the pitching pipeline plan fail in 2022? Is there hope for improvement in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  4. The Minnesota Twins used a franchise record 37 pitchers at the Major League level this season. With plenty of short starts causing a level of scrutiny, the goal is in developing better arms that can go deeper into ballgames. There’s no better place to do that than within your own system. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen View full article
  5. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen
  6. Last winter, it was clear to anyone looking at the Twins roster that the team needed frontline starting pitching. There were other off-season needs, but they only had Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober penciled into the rotation and many other question marks. Minnesota had the financial flexibility to sign frontline starting pitching, but the club decided to go in a different direction. With the pending lockout, the Twins front office watched most frontline free agent starters ink contracts with other organizations. Minnesota's lone signing before the lockout was Dylan Bundy, who figured to fit into the rotation's back half. It was tough to decipher how the Twins expected to fill the rotation, but the team's plan became clear as spring training inched closer. Following the lockout, Sonny Gray was the Twins' biggest offseason pitching acquisition. He was a clear frontline starter and pitched that way during the 2022 season. The team added Chris Archer to join Bundy at the back of the rotation, and Chris Paddack joined the club in a last-minute deal before Opening Day. All these arms impacted the 2022 Twins, but the club wanted to rely on the young pitching in the system to supplement the veteran arms. Derek Falvey was brought to Minnesota because of his experience with the Cleveland organization. During his Cleveland tenure, one of his calling cards was cultivating young pitching, which has been a staple of the Guardians organization. Minnesota was going to start the 2022 campaign with Ryan and Ober in the rotation, but there were expectations that other young pitchers would join their ranks. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case, and Minnesota's pitching pipeline may have taken a step back this season. As the season began, it looked like the Twins had plenty of pitching prospects in the upper minors that had the potential to impact the roster. Minnesota had five upper minors starting pitchers ranked in their top-10 prospects, and others rounded out their top-20 list. Ryan had an up-and-down season as a rookie, but he is on pace to set the team's rookie record for strikeouts. Josh Winder and Cole Sands have combined to pitch just over 80 big league innings, with both missing games due to injury. Louie Varland saw his stock rise the most out of this group as he pitched well in the upper minors before making his big league debut in September. Matt Canterino and Jordan Balazovic were arguably the team's top pitching prospects entering the 2022 campaign, but it was a lost season for both. Canterino dominated on the mound in 13 appearances, but he needed Tommy John surgery before the season's end. Balazovic was on pace to debut in 2022, but he struggled at Triple-A and is now getting back on track. Besides Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson helped his stock the most this season, and he deserves to make some starts for the Twins down the stretch. Many will blame injuries for the Twins' failures during the 2022 season. However, the lack of contributions from the pitching pipeline is also concerning. Not every pitching prospect can be successful throughout their professional careers, and there is hope that some of these arms will get healthy in the offseason. As Minnesota's focus turns to 2023, the front office might not be able to rely as heavily on the pitching pipeline when building next year's roster. Did the pitching pipeline plan fail in 2022? Is there hope for improvement in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. The Wichita Wind Surge got their playoff push started with a bang, blowing out the Tulsa Drillers in Game one of their Texas League Division Series. Multiple players delivered big blasts in the decisive victory, while a top pitching prospect continued to make a good impression in Triple-A. Image courtesy of of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge TRANSACTIONS Ahead of St. Paul’s game with Indianapolis, RHP Melvi Acosta was promoted from Wichita, and RHP Matt Mullenbach was also called up from Cedar Rapids. In addition to those moves, RHP Dereck Rodriguez was also outrighted to Triple-A. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 7 Box Score On Tuesday the St. Paul Saints kicked off their penultimate series of the season, against the Tulsa Drillers with right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson on the bump. His lineup gave him some run support before he even took the mound when Michael Helman led off the game with a single. He advanced to third after a fielder’s choice (no out recorded) and double-play ball, before a passed ball allowed him to scamper home. With the early lead, Woods Richardson came out ready to go. He delivered a one-two-three first inning, before striking out five hitters over his next two innings. Through five innings he had scattered four hits and kept Indianapolis off the scoreboard. Back out for the sixth, he finally ran into his first real trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a walk to put multiple runners on base, then three stolen bases allowed two consecutive sac flies to put the home team out front 2-1. Woods Richardson delivered a quality outing, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five. He threw 85 pitches, with 61 going for strikes (72%), including 16 swinging. The Saints lineup picked him up in the top of the seventh, with a leadoff walk from Andrew Bechtold that was followed by a Dalton Shuffield home run, of the inside-the-park variety, to retake the lead. Just as quickly, however, the bullpen let their starter down. Devin Smeltzer gave up the game-tying home run in the seventh, then wasn’t able to record an out in the eighth before being replaced by Mario Sanchez. Smeltzer was charged with a blown save and loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in one-plus innings on two hits. He struck out one. Sanchez was then hit for two earned runs of his own, allowing four hits in his inning. St. Paul’s lineup was led by multiple hits from Bechtold (2-for-3, R, BB, K) and Shuffield (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI. Trevor Larnach was 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout, while Ryan Jeffers was 0-for-4 in their rehabs. Wander Javier was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. As a team, the Saints were just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Catcher Jose Godoy got some revenge on his former team and organization, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to lead Indianapolis. Number six Pirates prospect (per MLB.com) Endy Rodriguez, was 2-for-3 with an RBI double, batting fifth as the DH. WIND SURGE WISDOM - Texas League Division Series (Game 1 of Best of 3 Series) Tulsa 1, Wichita 17 Box Score The Wind Surge never died down in this one, as they battered the Drillers from start to finish to take game one of their Division Series. A five-run second inning got the damage started, and before it was over they scored at least four runs in two other innings. They took advantage of nine walks by crushing three separate three-run homers among seven extra-base hits in the game. Those home runs came off the bats of DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Edouard Julien, and Anthony Prato. Austin Martin added a solo shot of his own, and Keirsey Jr. also added an RBI triple. Left-hander Brent Headrick got the start for Wichita and was fantastic for the first five innings, never letting the Drillers build any momentum in the blowout. He scattered six hits and allowed just an unearned run. He punched out eight hitters, including multiple in each of the first, third, and fourth innings. The recently fast-tracked Brooks Lee, got the party started with an RBI single in the second inning, and two batters later Keirsey Jr. delivered the first three-run blast of the game. After an RBI single from Prato in the third, a Jair Camargo RBI double and Alex Isola sac fly in the fourth, Wichita was already rolling 8-0. A four-run fifth included an RBI triple from Keirsey Jr., and then the Julien blast to make it 12-1. Martin led off the seventh with his home run, and later Prato slugged the Wind Surge’s third big blast of the night, giving them the final score of 17-1. After Headrick’s exit, relievers Osiris German, Jordan Gore, Blayne Enlow, and Casey Legumina combined to keep the Drillers stuck at one run to finish the final four innings, pitching one frame apiece. German struck out the side in the sixth, Gore two in the seventh, Enlow one in the eighth, and Legumina two in the ninth. As a staff, they combined for 16 K’s to just one walk. Martin (2-for-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SB), Julien (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB), Camargo (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), Lee (3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Prato (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), and Keirsey Jr. (2-for-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI) all had multiple hits in the blowout victory. Game 2 of the Texas League Division series will be on Thursday in Tulsa, with right-hander (and no-hitter throwing) Daniel Gossett getting the starting nod for Wichita. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Brent Headrick, Wichita Wind Surge (W, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 8 K) Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien, Wichita Wind Surge (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SB #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 IP, BB, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (12:35 PM CDT) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-6, 7.47 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! View full article
  8. The Wichita Wind Surge opened postseason play with a 17-1 blowout. Brent Headrick got things going with a strong start while DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Jair Camargo and Edouard Julien were among the many hitters who had big nights. Also included in tonight's recap are highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson's quality start for St. Paul
  9. The Wichita Wind Surge opened postseason play with a 17-1 blowout. Brent Headrick got things going with a strong start while DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Jair Camargo and Edouard Julien were among the many hitters who had big nights. Also included in tonight's recap are highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson's quality start for St. Paul View full video
  10. TRANSACTIONS Ahead of St. Paul’s game with Indianapolis, RHP Melvi Acosta was promoted from Wichita, and RHP Matt Mullenbach was also called up from Cedar Rapids. In addition to those moves, RHP Dereck Rodriguez was also outrighted to Triple-A. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 7 Box Score On Tuesday the St. Paul Saints kicked off their penultimate series of the season, against the Tulsa Drillers with right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson on the bump. His lineup gave him some run support before he even took the mound when Michael Helman led off the game with a single. He advanced to third after a fielder’s choice (no out recorded) and double-play ball, before a passed ball allowed him to scamper home. With the early lead, Woods Richardson came out ready to go. He delivered a one-two-three first inning, before striking out five hitters over his next two innings. Through five innings he had scattered four hits and kept Indianapolis off the scoreboard. Back out for the sixth, he finally ran into his first real trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a walk to put multiple runners on base, then three stolen bases allowed two consecutive sac flies to put the home team out front 2-1. Woods Richardson delivered a quality outing, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five. He threw 85 pitches, with 61 going for strikes (72%), including 16 swinging. The Saints lineup picked him up in the top of the seventh, with a leadoff walk from Andrew Bechtold that was followed by a Dalton Shuffield home run, of the inside-the-park variety, to retake the lead. Just as quickly, however, the bullpen let their starter down. Devin Smeltzer gave up the game-tying home run in the seventh, then wasn’t able to record an out in the eighth before being replaced by Mario Sanchez. Smeltzer was charged with a blown save and loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in one-plus innings on two hits. He struck out one. Sanchez was then hit for two earned runs of his own, allowing four hits in his inning. St. Paul’s lineup was led by multiple hits from Bechtold (2-for-3, R, BB, K) and Shuffield (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI. Trevor Larnach was 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout, while Ryan Jeffers was 0-for-4 in their rehabs. Wander Javier was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. As a team, the Saints were just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Catcher Jose Godoy got some revenge on his former team and organization, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to lead Indianapolis. Number six Pirates prospect (per MLB.com) Endy Rodriguez, was 2-for-3 with an RBI double, batting fifth as the DH. WIND SURGE WISDOM - Texas League Division Series (Game 1 of Best of 3 Series) Tulsa 1, Wichita 17 Box Score The Wind Surge never died down in this one, as they battered the Drillers from start to finish to take game one of their Division Series. A five-run second inning got the damage started, and before it was over they scored at least four runs in two other innings. They took advantage of nine walks by crushing three separate three-run homers among seven extra-base hits in the game. Those home runs came off the bats of DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Edouard Julien, and Anthony Prato. Austin Martin added a solo shot of his own, and Keirsey Jr. also added an RBI triple. Left-hander Brent Headrick got the start for Wichita and was fantastic for the first five innings, never letting the Drillers build any momentum in the blowout. He scattered six hits and allowed just an unearned run. He punched out eight hitters, including multiple in each of the first, third, and fourth innings. The recently fast-tracked Brooks Lee, got the party started with an RBI single in the second inning, and two batters later Keirsey Jr. delivered the first three-run blast of the game. After an RBI single from Prato in the third, a Jair Camargo RBI double and Alex Isola sac fly in the fourth, Wichita was already rolling 8-0. A four-run fifth included an RBI triple from Keirsey Jr., and then the Julien blast to make it 12-1. Martin led off the seventh with his home run, and later Prato slugged the Wind Surge’s third big blast of the night, giving them the final score of 17-1. After Headrick’s exit, relievers Osiris German, Jordan Gore, Blayne Enlow, and Casey Legumina combined to keep the Drillers stuck at one run to finish the final four innings, pitching one frame apiece. German struck out the side in the sixth, Gore two in the seventh, Enlow one in the eighth, and Legumina two in the ninth. As a staff, they combined for 16 K’s to just one walk. Martin (2-for-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SB), Julien (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB), Camargo (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), Lee (3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Prato (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), and Keirsey Jr. (2-for-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI) all had multiple hits in the blowout victory. Game 2 of the Texas League Division series will be on Thursday in Tulsa, with right-hander (and no-hitter throwing) Daniel Gossett getting the starting nod for Wichita. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Brent Headrick, Wichita Wind Surge (W, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 8 K) Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien, Wichita Wind Surge (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SB #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 IP, BB, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (12:35 PM CDT) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-6, 7.47 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  11. If the Minnesota Twins are going to bounce back next year, it will take more than savvy offseason moves from the front office. Impact veterans help but, as we've seen with Carlos Correa, they can't do it all. Internal help is crucial. The club was helped greatly this season – and saved perhaps from another all-out disaster – by key rookies making immediate contributions, including Jose Miranda, Jhoan Duran and Joe Ryan. Some positive developments in the minors offer hope that more impact help is soon on the way. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports Yesterday we assessed the damage from the most upsetting negative developments in the Twins system this year, with three of the organization's top six prospects experiencing calamitous setbacks that have sent them spiraling out of the Twins' plans. As a chaser to cleanse all those bad vibes, today we'll highlight some hugely positive developments on the farm, each propelling ascendent prospects more directly into the team's future. Best of all, we couldn't limit this list to just three. These five players have tremendously improved their stocks this year, setting the stage to potentially help the major-league team in the very near future (if they haven't already). Louie Varland backs up a big year. We've already seen the early returns on this breakout prospect star. Varland didn't exactly come out of nowhere – he was named the organization's minor-league pitcher of the year in 2021 – but there was still an air of skepticism around him, a former 15th-round draft pick out of a D-II college. Sure, he was amazing in A-ball last year, but plenty of collegiate draft picks have dominated those low levels only to get a reality check in the high minors. For Varland, that check never came. He translated his excellence to Double-A without missing a beat, earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A that quickly turned into a major-league debut. Stepping out under the lights of Yankee Stadium, Varland excelled and made a big impression. Things didn't quite as well his next time out, in Cleveland on Saturday, but this is a guy whose stated goal for this year was to reach St. Paul. He blew past it, and as a consequence, will find himself squarely in the MLB depth picture heading into next season. Matt Wallner mashes past his contact issues. Wallner is another prospect whose monster campaign has already paved the way for a sooner-than-expected MLB debut. And like Varland, he's a local kid, native to Forest Lake, MN. Unlike Varland, Wallner was not a late-round draft pick who emerged from low expectations to achieve top prospect status. He was a bona fide stud coming out of college, selected 39th overall in 2019. But he had his own set of doubts coming into this season, relating mainly to his contact and discipline issues. Even for someone with as much raw power as Wallner, it's really tough to project big-league success for a bat-first player who strikes out 33% of the time and barely walks – at Single-A as a 23-year-old, no less. Would upper-level pitchers chop him to bits? Turns out, it's been the other way around. Wallner obliterated Double-A pitching, posting a .299/.436/.597 slash line with 21 homers in 74 games. That earned him a trip to the Futures Game and a promotion to Triple-A soon after. Wallner got off to a slow start with the Saints, batting .105 with zero extra-base hits in his first 10 games. Then he flipped a switch. Since the beginning of August he's slashing .289/.414/.564. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and that has a been an overall trend for him this year as he's shown the ability to actively improve his strike zone control and evolve his game. The huge breakout season, combined with desperation for help at the big-league level, led to Wallner getting called up in Cleveland this past weekend. He homered off Shane Bieber in his first MLB game. Wallner felt like a bit of a longshot at this time last year, but now looks like a guy you can confidently write into the team's plans going forward. The idea of both he and Varland, as hometown boys, turning into fixtures for the Twins over the next five years is pretty fun. Simeon Woods Richardson shows his true colors. A former second-round draft pick of the Mets, Woods Richardson has widely been viewed as one of the more prestigious pitching prospects in the minors, making both Baseball America's and MLB.com's Top 100 lists in 2020 and 2021. The Twins were thrilled to get him alongside Austin Martin in the trade that sent José Berríos to Toronto last summer. Looking at his 2021 season in isolation, fans might have been asking ... why? He had a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts with the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate, and then put up a 6.75 ERA in a brief eight-inning September stint with Wichita. It was a weird year that saw him get aggressively assigned to Double-A at age 20, then take a bunch of time away from his team for the Olympics, where he didn't even pitch. The 6-foot-3, 210 lb right-hander has fully gotten back on track this year. He didn't allow a run in his first four starts en route to a 2.92 ERA over 71 innings at Wichita before moving up to St. Paul in mid-August. There he has continued to excel with a 2.55 ERA in 24 ⅔ frames. Between both levels, Woods Richardson has averaged well over a strikeout per inning, cut down significantly on the walks, and allowed only six home runs in 21 outings. Opponents have batted .206 against him. He's about three years younger than the average player at Triple-A. This reaffirming turnaround from Woods Richardson has been huge for two reasons, both tying to yesterday's article. First, it keeps the Berríos trade looking like a winner even with Martin falling off, and second, it keeps another high-caliber and near-ready pitching prospect in the wings even with Balazovic getting derailed. Emmanuel Rodriguez blossoms into prospect stardom. Unlike the others highlighted in this article, Rodriguez is probably not in line to make an MLB debut in the especially near future. He's a teenager who hasn't appeared above Low-A and his timeline was further delayed by a season-ending knee injury suffered in June. In spite of all that, his performance prior to that injury was so magnificent, and so incredibly encouraging, that he has to be included in this piece. Rodriguez ranked 15th on our preseason top prospects list, characterized as an intriguing yet distant international talent coming off an impressive showing in rookie ball. His follow-up at Single-A left no doubt as to the outfielder's sky-high potential: in 47 games before going down, he slashed .272/.493/.552 with nine homers, 11 steals, and 57 (!) walks. Yes, you read that right – nearly a .500 OBP and more walks than games played from a 19-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Realistically, even if he comes back with gusto next year, Rodriguez is probably looking at a 2024 debut at the earliest, but his spectacular first half puts him in the "blue chip prospect" conversation and that's a hugely positive development for this system. Brooks Lee arrives and thrives. I honestly believe this will go down as THE biggest boost to the farm system over a span of many years: Lee, widely viewed as one of the premier talents in this year's MLB draft, somehow sliding to the Twins at No. 8 overall, where they were more than happy to take him. They may have landed a new franchise player. Quickly signed to a $5.7 million bonus, Lee has handled every assignment so far with aplomb. He went to rookie ball briefly where he batted .353 to earn a promotion to Single-A. Five weeks at Cedar Rapids was enough to convince the Twins he was ready for the next level, so over the weekend, Lee was called up to Wichita, reaching Double-A exactly two months after he was drafted. Touted for his "otherworldly bat-to-ball skills," Lee was one of the top hitters in college, an exceedingly advanced talent, and the Twins could barely contain their excitement when he fell into their laps. "It’s hard to say who made who fall to our pick," said scouting director Sean Johnson, "but regardless of who caused it, [for] the domino to trickle, we’re ecstatic." Their actions have backed up their words. Advanced talent or not, pushing a player to Double-A two months after drafting him makes an aggressive statement. Presumably billed to open back at Wichita in 2023, Lee will be in position to make a case for a big-league promotion next summer. It's almost as if the Twins are planning around that possibility. View full article
  12. With the Minnesota Twins all but eliminated from postseason contention at this point, they could play out the string by getting some young players a bit more acclimated. There’s virtually no one left to promote from Triple-A St. Paul at this point, but starting pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson may make sense. Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints Last season, the Twins relied relatively heavily on Bailey Ober as a regular starting rotation arm. Then after acquiring Joe Ryan for aging-slugger Nelson Cruz, the former Rays pitcher wound up making five starts down the stretch for Rocco Baldelli’s club. There’s not time for either of those two exposure levels, but Simeon Woods Richardson could be worth giving a turn to. Logistically, there are a few things to work through. The St. Paul Saints regular season schedule goes through a final home game on September 28. They’ll obviously need arms to make those starts, and while they aren’t lined up for a postseason berth, the goal isn’t to minimize those games. There’s also the reality that Woods Richardson doesn’t currently have a spot on the Minnesota 40-man roster. That’s more than easily worked around, but would generate an increase in pay and start his Major League service time. From an individual perspective, it’s hard to suggest that Woods Richardson hasn’t earned the opportunity. Acquired by the Twins from Toronto when they sent Jose Berrios north of the border, the former second-round pick has a 2.93 ERA this season between Double and Triple-A. Only five of his starts have come with the Saints, but Woods Richardson owns a strong 9.7 K/9 and a manageable 3.0 BB/9. If there’s concern about a workload, the most bringing Woods Richardson to the Twins would add is an additional turn. Minnesota plays through October 5th, and should they wait to give him a single game, he could start in the season’s final series against the Chicago White Sox. Pitching just 53 1/3 innings last year after playing for Team USA in the Olympics, Woods Richardson has built back up to 95 1/3 innings this year and did throw 106 2/3 innings as an 18-year-old in the Mets system during 2019. There’s certainly no urgency to push Woods Richardson up a level, and we’re hardly going to learn much from a single start. That said, he should be expected to contribute next season, and given the amount of depth Minnesota needed this year, his having knowledge of The Show this offseason could benefit his preparation. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a scenario where Woods Richardson is in the Twins Opening Day rotation to start 2023. This is not like Ryan starting on Opening Day coming off just five starts. You could make a good case that he’ll generate at least ten starts for Minnesota in 2023, however, and giving him a look with a few months to prepare for what that looks like seems reasonable. While the Twins were in the division race through the bulk of the season, even leading it most of the way, making the most out of the final games should be the goal. There’s not really a feel-good organizational guy to get an opportunity for, so showcasing the young talent and allowing them further to assert themselves could be a good way to put a bow on things. View full article
  13. Last season, the Twins relied relatively heavily on Bailey Ober as a regular starting rotation arm. Then after acquiring Joe Ryan for aging-slugger Nelson Cruz, the former Rays pitcher wound up making five starts down the stretch for Rocco Baldelli’s club. There’s not time for either of those two exposure levels, but Simeon Woods Richardson could be worth giving a turn to. Logistically, there are a few things to work through. The St. Paul Saints regular season schedule goes through a final home game on September 28. They’ll obviously need arms to make those starts, and while they aren’t lined up for a postseason berth, the goal isn’t to minimize those games. There’s also the reality that Woods Richardson doesn’t currently have a spot on the Minnesota 40-man roster. That’s more than easily worked around, but would generate an increase in pay and start his Major League service time. From an individual perspective, it’s hard to suggest that Woods Richardson hasn’t earned the opportunity. Acquired by the Twins from Toronto when they sent Jose Berrios north of the border, the former second-round pick has a 2.93 ERA this season between Double and Triple-A. Only five of his starts have come with the Saints, but Woods Richardson owns a strong 9.7 K/9 and a manageable 3.0 BB/9. If there’s concern about a workload, the most bringing Woods Richardson to the Twins would add is an additional turn. Minnesota plays through October 5th, and should they wait to give him a single game, he could start in the season’s final series against the Chicago White Sox. Pitching just 53 1/3 innings last year after playing for Team USA in the Olympics, Woods Richardson has built back up to 95 1/3 innings this year and did throw 106 2/3 innings as an 18-year-old in the Mets system during 2019. There’s certainly no urgency to push Woods Richardson up a level, and we’re hardly going to learn much from a single start. That said, he should be expected to contribute next season, and given the amount of depth Minnesota needed this year, his having knowledge of The Show this offseason could benefit his preparation. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a scenario where Woods Richardson is in the Twins Opening Day rotation to start 2023. This is not like Ryan starting on Opening Day coming off just five starts. You could make a good case that he’ll generate at least ten starts for Minnesota in 2023, however, and giving him a look with a few months to prepare for what that looks like seems reasonable. While the Twins were in the division race through the bulk of the season, even leading it most of the way, making the most out of the final games should be the goal. There’s not really a feel-good organizational guy to get an opportunity for, so showcasing the young talent and allowing them further to assert themselves could be a good way to put a bow on things.
  14. Yesterday we assessed the damage from the most upsetting negative developments in the Twins system this year, with three of the organization's top six prospects experiencing calamitous setbacks that have sent them spiraling out of the Twins' plans. As a chaser to cleanse all those bad vibes, today we'll highlight some hugely positive developments on the farm, each propelling ascendent prospects more directly into the team's future. Best of all, we couldn't limit this list to just three. These five players have tremendously improved their stocks this year, setting the stage to potentially help the major-league team in the very near future (if they haven't already). Louie Varland backs up a big year. We've already seen the early returns on this breakout prospect star. Varland didn't exactly come out of nowhere – he was named the organization's minor-league pitcher of the year in 2021 – but there was still an air of skepticism around him, a former 15th-round draft pick out of a D-II college. Sure, he was amazing in A-ball last year, but plenty of collegiate draft picks have dominated those low levels only to get a reality check in the high minors. For Varland, that check never came. He translated his excellence to Double-A without missing a beat, earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A that quickly turned into a major-league debut. Stepping out under the lights of Yankee Stadium, Varland excelled and made a big impression. Things didn't quite as well his next time out, in Cleveland on Saturday, but this is a guy whose stated goal for this year was to reach St. Paul. He blew past it, and as a consequence, will find himself squarely in the MLB depth picture heading into next season. Matt Wallner mashes past his contact issues. Wallner is another prospect whose monster campaign has already paved the way for a sooner-than-expected MLB debut. And like Varland, he's a local kid, native to Forest Lake, MN. Unlike Varland, Wallner was not a late-round draft pick who emerged from low expectations to achieve top prospect status. He was a bona fide stud coming out of college, selected 39th overall in 2019. But he had his own set of doubts coming into this season, relating mainly to his contact and discipline issues. Even for someone with as much raw power as Wallner, it's really tough to project big-league success for a bat-first player who strikes out 33% of the time and barely walks – at Single-A as a 23-year-old, no less. Would upper-level pitchers chop him to bits? Turns out, it's been the other way around. Wallner obliterated Double-A pitching, posting a .299/.436/.597 slash line with 21 homers in 74 games. That earned him a trip to the Futures Game and a promotion to Triple-A soon after. Wallner got off to a slow start with the Saints, batting .105 with zero extra-base hits in his first 10 games. Then he flipped a switch. Since the beginning of August he's slashing .289/.414/.564. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and that has a been an overall trend for him this year as he's shown the ability to actively improve his strike zone control and evolve his game. The huge breakout season, combined with desperation for help at the big-league level, led to Wallner getting called up in Cleveland this past weekend. He homered off Shane Bieber in his first MLB game. Wallner felt like a bit of a longshot at this time last year, but now looks like a guy you can confidently write into the team's plans going forward. The idea of both he and Varland, as hometown boys, turning into fixtures for the Twins over the next five years is pretty fun. Simeon Woods Richardson shows his true colors. A former second-round draft pick of the Mets, Woods Richardson has widely been viewed as one of the more prestigious pitching prospects in the minors, making both Baseball America's and MLB.com's Top 100 lists in 2020 and 2021. The Twins were thrilled to get him alongside Austin Martin in the trade that sent José Berríos to Toronto last summer. Looking at his 2021 season in isolation, fans might have been asking ... why? He had a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts with the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate, and then put up a 6.75 ERA in a brief eight-inning September stint with Wichita. It was a weird year that saw him get aggressively assigned to Double-A at age 20, then take a bunch of time away from his team for the Olympics, where he didn't even pitch. The 6-foot-3, 210 lb right-hander has fully gotten back on track this year. He didn't allow a run in his first four starts en route to a 2.92 ERA over 71 innings at Wichita before moving up to St. Paul in mid-August. There he has continued to excel with a 2.55 ERA in 24 ⅔ frames. Between both levels, Woods Richardson has averaged well over a strikeout per inning, cut down significantly on the walks, and allowed only six home runs in 21 outings. Opponents have batted .206 against him. He's about three years younger than the average player at Triple-A. This reaffirming turnaround from Woods Richardson has been huge for two reasons, both tying to yesterday's article. First, it keeps the Berríos trade looking like a winner even with Martin falling off, and second, it keeps another high-caliber and near-ready pitching prospect in the wings even with Balazovic getting derailed. Emmanuel Rodriguez blossoms into prospect stardom. Unlike the others highlighted in this article, Rodriguez is probably not in line to make an MLB debut in the especially near future. He's a teenager who hasn't appeared above Low-A and his timeline was further delayed by a season-ending knee injury suffered in June. In spite of all that, his performance prior to that injury was so magnificent, and so incredibly encouraging, that he has to be included in this piece. Rodriguez ranked 15th on our preseason top prospects list, characterized as an intriguing yet distant international talent coming off an impressive showing in rookie ball. His follow-up at Single-A left no doubt as to the outfielder's sky-high potential: in 47 games before going down, he slashed .272/.493/.552 with nine homers, 11 steals, and 57 (!) walks. Yes, you read that right – nearly a .500 OBP and more walks than games played from a 19-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Realistically, even if he comes back with gusto next year, Rodriguez is probably looking at a 2024 debut at the earliest, but his spectacular first half puts him in the "blue chip prospect" conversation and that's a hugely positive development for this system. Brooks Lee arrives and thrives. I honestly believe this will go down as THE biggest boost to the farm system over a span of many years: Lee, widely viewed as one of the premier talents in this year's MLB draft, somehow sliding to the Twins at No. 8 overall, where they were more than happy to take him. They may have landed a new franchise player. Quickly signed to a $5.7 million bonus, Lee has handled every assignment so far with aplomb. He went to rookie ball briefly where he batted .353 to earn a promotion to Single-A. Five weeks at Cedar Rapids was enough to convince the Twins he was ready for the next level, so over the weekend, Lee was called up to Wichita, reaching Double-A exactly two months after he was drafted. Touted for his "otherworldly bat-to-ball skills," Lee was one of the top hitters in college, an exceedingly advanced talent, and the Twins could barely contain their excitement when he fell into their laps. "It’s hard to say who made who fall to our pick," said scouting director Sean Johnson, "but regardless of who caused it, [for] the domino to trickle, we’re ecstatic." Their actions have backed up their words. Advanced talent or not, pushing a player to Double-A two months after drafting him makes an aggressive statement. Presumably billed to open back at Wichita in 2023, Lee will be in position to make a case for a big-league promotion next summer. It's almost as if the Twins are planning around that possibility.
  15. With both the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Fort Myers Mighty Mussels dealing with a day off before resuming their championship series action at home, the St. Paul Saints were the lone team in action thanks to a Wichita Wind Surge rain out. Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints TRANSACTIONS Catcher David Banuelos placed on the 7-day IL retroactive to September 13 (concussion) SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 5, St. Paul 1 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson made the start tonight for the St. Paul Saints and was dominant. He worked six scoreless innings allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out four. He kept Louisville off the scoreboard. Lifted after six strong innings for reliever Drew Strotman, the Saints allowed a run after their new pitcher gave up a hit and a walk. The 7th inning Louisville single broke up the scoreless tie. Answering in the bottom of the 7th inning, Nash Knight ripped a line drive single to drive in Mark Contreras and even the score at one. Unfortunately, the Saints couldn’t hold the tie and in the 8th inning, a Bats single from Cristian Santana drove in two putting the good guys behind 3-1. Louisville then added another two runs in the 9th inning and pushed the lead up to 5-1. WIND SURGE WISDOM Postponed Due to inclement weather, Wichita and Midland were postponed tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS No Game The Kernels are off tonight as they prepare for game two of the Midwest League Championship Series. They trail 1-0 and Travis Adams will start tomorrow night at home. MUSSEL MATTERS No Game The Mighty Mussels are off tonight as they prepare for game two of the Florida State League Championship Series. They trail 1-0 and Marco Raya will start tomorrow night at home. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER,1 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – Nash Knight (St. Paul) - 2-4, RBI, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER,1 BB, 4 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-3, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ Midland (7:00PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  16. TRANSACTIONS Catcher David Banuelos placed on the 7-day IL retroactive to September 13 (concussion) SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 5, St. Paul 1 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson made the start tonight for the St. Paul Saints and was dominant. He worked six scoreless innings allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out four. He kept Louisville off the scoreboard. Lifted after six strong innings for reliever Drew Strotman, the Saints allowed a run after their new pitcher gave up a hit and a walk. The 7th inning Louisville single broke up the scoreless tie. Answering in the bottom of the 7th inning, Nash Knight ripped a line drive single to drive in Mark Contreras and even the score at one. Unfortunately, the Saints couldn’t hold the tie and in the 8th inning, a Bats single from Cristian Santana drove in two putting the good guys behind 3-1. Louisville then added another two runs in the 9th inning and pushed the lead up to 5-1. WIND SURGE WISDOM Postponed Due to inclement weather, Wichita and Midland were postponed tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS No Game The Kernels are off tonight as they prepare for game two of the Midwest League Championship Series. They trail 1-0 and Travis Adams will start tomorrow night at home. MUSSEL MATTERS No Game The Mighty Mussels are off tonight as they prepare for game two of the Florida State League Championship Series. They trail 1-0 and Marco Raya will start tomorrow night at home. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER,1 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – Nash Knight (St. Paul) - 2-4, RBI, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER,1 BB, 4 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-3, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ Midland (7:00PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  17. Before hopping into the list, I wanted to say a few things about this process: I started these writeups to kill time, but I’ve found them fun to write, and the community has responded with great support. My system lacks the professionalism of scouts, but I want to strive toward respectability; this edition is the one I’m most proud of. Previous write-ups lacked consistency, and I failed to consider crucial aspects of a player’s performance. Reminder: tier matters more than specific ranking. Royce Lewis (Prev: 1) I think Royce Lewis is a legitimate franchise-altering player with a greater potential influence than any other prospect. He still has questions—his ability at shortstop remains in flux—but no one can deny his aura, a baseball and personal sense innate in his spirit. He also hit like a machine before suffering his injury in 2022. Brooks Lee (Prev: 2) Brooks Lee could fall out of bed and hit. Since the last writeup, the 2022 1st round pick packed his bags for Cedar Rapids and—while still being younger than the average hitter at the level—has continued to hit. The switch-hitter is walking 9.3% of the time while striking out in just 17.3% of plate appearances. Is Lee a shortstop long-term? Probably not; his clumsiness at the position has already shown, but the bat is such a lock that his position barely matters. Lee could legitimately start at 3rd base for the Twins in 2023 if they desire to push him. ------------------------- Noah Miller (Prev: 3) Noah Miller’s numbers have declined since his white-hot start, but I remain high on the 19-year-old for two reasons: he’s a virtual lock to play shortstop, which is rare and vital, and his hitting peripherals remain solid. The extra-base authority isn’t there, but his elite 15.8% walk rate and stomachable 23.5% strikeout rate reflect a deep understanding of the strike zone. The power should come later, but even if it doesn’t, Miller could stick around for a while as a glove-first shortstop; that’s a piece many teams could use. Emmanuel Rodriguez (Prev: 4) You could flip-flop Emmanuel Rodriguez and Miller without hearing a peep from me; the young outfielder steamrolled low-A with an athletic force unique amongst Twins prospects at that level. Naturally, he suffered a brutal knee injury that curtailed his season, but I don’t anticipate a drop-off for Rodriguez when he returns in 2023. Expect big things from him once he’s healthy. Connor Prielipp (Prev: 5) Professional baseball has still not yet seen Connor Prielipp on the mound, but that barely affects his prospect stock; the college lefty possesses immense “boom” ability if he can return from Tommy John surgery. He owns arguably the best slider of anyone drafted in 2022; his fastball is a plus pitch as well. There have been whispers—a tweet here and there—about Prielipp pitching before the season ends, but nothing is official yet. He will be a name to remember for 2023. Simeon Woods Richardson (Prev: 7) This is where I admit a past error in these lists: I failed to consider Simeon Woods Richardson’s league while evaluating him. The Texas League tilts towards hitters, so while Woods Richardson’s numbers looked fine, they reflected an impressive ability to thrive in a competitive context built to suffocate him. His play with St. Paul since his promotion proves this; the young righty made two excellent starts, showcasing an elevated strikeout rate of 34.3%. Woods Richardson should impact the Twins soon, and he may become a rotation staple for years. Edouard Julien (Prev: 10) The lack of support for Edouard Julien as a genuine top prospect is baffling to me; the French-Canadian is a walking machine with pop; do people understand how rare that is? August was another dominant month, as he slashed .290/.426/.473 with three stolen bases (and three caught attempts). Sure, he’s a defender in name only, but the Twins could stomach merely passable defense at 2nd base to go with a tremendous bat—they’re already doing that with Jorge Polanco. I earnestly think Julien could be the starting 2nd baseman sooner than later—or at least he should be. ------------------------- Marco Raya (Prev: 9) Marco Raya only pitched twice in August—probably due to injury, but I couldn’t confirm this—yet, he remains a marvel through his raw stuff. “Electric” is the only word that can accurately describe him; his slider, curveball, and fastball possess desirable traits; whether he can put it all together is the big question. The Twins treated the youngster with kid gloves, so he will end 2022 with fewer innings than other, older prospects. Still, Raya remains a talented and intriguing arm. Matt Wallner (Prev: 11) I was low on Matt Wallner to start the season—even while he crushed the ball, his strikeouts always caused me to hesitate when considering his prospect status. What changed? Wallner has shaved points of his strikeout rate—it now sits at 26.9% in August, which I can live with. He’s still an on-base wizard and owns a bazooka out in right field; these tools add up to a volatile player, but one with more impact than I gave him credit for earlier in the season. If it all clicks, we’re looking at a consistent ~3-win player who could crack a few All-Star games. Louie Varland (Prev: 13) Like Woods Richardson, my failure to consider the context of Louie Varland’s league caused me to rank him far too low on these lists. Varland isn’t just a cute hometown kid story; the righty owns a deadly fastball that overpowers hitters and sets a strong foundation from which his other pitches can grow. Those secondary offerings remain iffy, but Joe Ryan has proved that a great fastball can lead to success early in one’s major league career while other pitches develop in the background. Varland has struck out 27.5% of hitters at AAA. Yasser Mercedes (Prev: 19) Of all the young players on this list, Yasser Mercedes possess the best chance of becoming a dynamic star; the 17-year-old—yes, he still needs an adult in the car while driving in the United States—lit the DSL on fire, stealing 30 bags while slashing .355/.420/.555. He played 41 games. If that’s a sign of things to come—and that’s a major “if” given his age—the Twins could have a future superstar. Misael Urbina (Prev: 23) Misael Urbina is growing into some power and looks like a much finer prospect because of it. In 2021, the athletic outfielder couldn’t find a double if someone pointed it out on a map, but he’s now slugging .506 with a slightly worse BB/K rate; I think both he and the Twins are ok with that. There’s still a lot of development in front of Urbina, but 2022 is an excellent step in the right direction. Austin Martin (Prev: 6) I’ve been downright mean to Austin Martin on these lists, and I think that needs a slight correction. He’s not a shortstop, and his lack of power still scares me, but you don’t see guys who walk about as often as they strike out every day, and he could carve out a niche as a super-utility guy in the mold of Nick Gordon. Such a role represents a step-down from his potential when coming out of Vanderbilt, but that type of player is still valuable for a major-league team. His drop on my list results from other players rising, not necessarily him falling. ------------------------- Brent Headrick (Prev: 15) Brent Headrick spent all of August at AA and posted impressive numbers; he struck out 36.8% of batters against just a 6.3% walk rate. The lefty is creeping up on 100 innings pitched in 2022, and I imagine the Twins will strongly consider protecting him from the rule 5 draft after the season. Jordan Balazovic (Prev: 8 ) Jordan Balazovic might be the hardest player to rank in the system; the righty crushed his competition in previous years, but AAA batters have taken him to town, and I have no clue what to make of it. August was another rough month for Balazovic, and I’m left wondering if his stuff fell off a cliff or if the team is forcing him to pitch through an obviously debilitating injury; batters have hit 16 homers against him in just 49 ⅔ innings. Cole Sands (Prev: 16) I have a soft spot for Cole Sands; the righty commands one of the finest sweeping breaking balls in the system, and his new split-change could aid him against left-handed batters. Unfortunately, a right elbow contusion halted his great run in the majors, but he’s set to start a rehab assignment soon. The timing of his injury could not have been worse as Sands had pitched seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts since re-joining the Twins in August. Ronny Henriquez (Prev: 17) On the surface, Ronny Henriquez’s 2022 season looks like a disaster; the righty owns a 5.79 ERA after all, but promising signs are hiding underneath the surface; he’s a 22-year-old with very little professional experience coming off a month where he punched out 28% of batters. I think the Twins will sit on him for a while, instead choosing to let Henriquez develop at AAA for most of 2023 before giving him the call. Noah Cardenas (Prev: 21) Much like his Noah brethren—the one with “Miller” as his surname—Noah Cardenas represents my favorite kind of position-playing prospect: a lock at a demanding defensive position with a chance to provide above-average value through their bat. Cardenas is smoking A ball as an old-for-the-level hitter—he’s walking more than he’s striking out—so the real challenge will begin once he sees more advanced pitching. For now, he’s a great piece to dream on. Jose Rodriguez (Prev: Unranked) As a 17-year-old, Jose Rodriguez bashed 13 homers in 55 games in the DSL. Yes, we should all be wary of hyping up literal teenagers, but that total led the league, and Rodriguez did it as a well-touted prospect who also batted .289 with a palatable strikeout rate of 23.7%. Like Mercedes, Rodriguez’s development will be a slow burn, but his initial impression has been excellent. David Festa (Prev: 12) David Festa has cooled significantly since his excellent start to the season, enough, in fact, that it raises questions about whether he was playing over his head. The college arm had a great ERA in August (1.15), but a dreadful FIP (5.27) thanks to a mediocre strikeout rate and an inflated walk rate (20.6% and 11.8%, respectively). I believe he can turn it around—he’s younger than the average A+ pitcher—but September will be crucial for Festa. Blayne Enlow (Prev: 14) August was a fine month for Blayne Enlow; he worked almost entirely in relief, striking out 20.5% of hitters against a high but still palatable 9.5% walk rate. The move to the pen raises some eyebrows—is this a long-term move or perhaps a play to shuffle him upwards towards the majors quickly? I believe in the latter, so Enlow remains a well-regarded prospect. Chris Williams (Prev: 20) Hiding behind the word “interesting” is a soft move, but I’m not sure any other word can more precisely describe what Chris Williams is. The 25-year-old popped out of his bed one day earlier in the season, started mashing, and hasn’t slowed down since. A promotion to AAA has only fueled his fire as he’s slashing .241/.368/.667 since joining the Saints and has hit seven homers in 17 games. ------------------------- Cody Laweryson (Prev: Unranked) There’s something irresistibly intriguing about Cody Laweryson; the righty doesn’t throw hard and has never impacted major prospect lists, but his equal parts graceful and aggressive delivery has befuddled AA hitters. Laweryson carried a 2.13 FIP in August, buoyed by a monstrous 31.9% K rate; he split time as a starter and a reliever. It’s low-hanging fruit, but one is reminded of Joe Ryan when Laweryson is at his best. Alex Isola (Prev: Unranked) 29th-round picks don’t usually stick around as Alex Isola has; the righty has more than held his own at AA and could find himself in promotion conversations soon. You don’t see catchers with a 12.3% walk rate and a sub-20% K rate too often. Yunior Severino (Prev: 25) Yunior Severino brewed as a prospect for years before annihilating A+ ball to start 2022; the Twins were so impressed that they promoted him to AA a few days after the start of August. The higher competition level has stifled Severino—the walks and strikeouts have each trended in directions hitters don’t like—but the sample is so small that I’m willing to overlook it for now. September will be an important month for Severino. Alerick Soularie (Prev: 24) Alerick Soularie was in the process of melting A+ ball pitchers in August before the Kernels suddenly stopped playing him halfway through the month. If he’s injured—and I don’t see another answer—then I hope it doesn’t steal too much playing time; Soularie is already an old-for-his-level hitter with serious strikeout problems; he needs at-bats. Tanner Schobel (Prev: Unranked) The Twins drafted Tanner Schobel in the 2nd round of the 2022 draft. He has all of 81 plate appearances, so judging him off his stats is unwise; he’ll need more time to marinate before his prospect picture becomes clearer. Cesar Lares (Prev: 22) Cesar Lares is a DSL statistical outlier to whom I attached myself and will refuse to ignore. He led the DSL in K% amongst pitchers with at least 40 innings (37.6%) and, I mean, that’s an impressive number! Lares just turned 19, so his early dominance is an encouraging sign; next season will be important for the lefty. Aaron Sabato (Prev: 26) I’ve been harsh on Sabato—perhaps unfairly; maybe justified—but I may need to change my tune; he has now twice bounced back from dreadful starts at a level to match expectations drawn from his 1st round pedigree. It’s been no different at Wichita; the righty’s slash line is unsightly, but he’s walked a hearty amount since his promotion (11.3%), and his BABIP is dirt-low. There’s a good chance he turns it around in September. Jair Camargo (Prev: Unranked) A number of players could have claimed this spot, but I chose Jair Camargo, the hitting machine. Camargo has slashed a lopsided .275/.320/.514 throughout a few levels of the minors in 2022, perhaps revealing legitimate power from the catching position. He’s still younger than the average AA hitter.
  18. The Twins’ Minor League affiliates couldn’t get the bats rolling in a quieter offensive night. Even then, the Kernels picked up another win and a top prospect hit a homer for the Surge. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge TRANSACTIONS INF/OF Dalton Shuffield promoted from Cedar Rapids to St. Paul C Dillon Tatum promoted from Fort Myers to Wichita C Ricardo Olivar promoted from FCL Twins to Fort Myers Wind Surge placed C Kyle Schmidt on the Injured List SAINTS SENTINEL Mud Hens 5, Saints 2 Box Score The Saints had trouble getting their offense going in a 5-2 loss to the Mud Hens Thursday. Simeon Woods Richardson started and allowed two runs over five strong innings. Woods Richardson struck out seven and walked three. It's been a wonderful bounce back season for SWR, who now owns a 3.12 ERA across both levels of the upper minors. Opponents are hitting just .212/.286/.307 off SWR this season and he's six years younger than his average competition at Triple-A. The Saints tallied five hits on the night, including four doubles from Matt Wallner, Mark Contreras, Elliot Soto, and John Andreoli. The game was tied at two after an RBI groundout from Michael Helman in the fifth. The Mud Hens took the lead in the sixth and never looked back. The Saints are 65-66 on the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Naturals 6, Wind Surge 3 Box Score The Wind Surge took a tough loss in the late innings Thursday night. Leobaldo Cabrera tied the game on an RBI single in the second. In the fifth, Austin Martin hit his second homer of the year to tie the game at three. Martin entered the game hitting .304/.467/.348 (.815 OPS) in 30 September plate appearances. It's been a down year for Martin but a strong finish could provide momentum for 2023. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, while Aaron Sabato also doubled. Francis Peguero was outstanding in relief, pitching 1 1/3 innings with one hit and no runs allowed. It was all Naturals from that point on. They scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth, securing the victory. Despite notching nine hits and drawing five walks, the Surge couldn’t score more than three. They left 25 men on base. The Surge are 71-57. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 2, Cubs 1 Box Score Travis Adams was terrific in his start for the Kernels in Thursday’s win. Adams allowed one run over five innings. The Kernels followed that up with four scoreless from the bullpen, including scoreless innings from Bobby Milacki, Sean Mooney, and Miguel Rodríguez. The trio struck out seven in a masterful pitching performance. Brooks Lee’s defense also helped. Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Jeferson Morales blasted a go-ahead two-run homer to left. It was Morales’ seventh homer of the season. The Kernels had only five total hits, but the swing from Morales was enough to seal the victory. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied two hits in the win. The Kernels are 73-56. MUSSEL MATTERS The Mussels’ doubleheader was rained out Thursday. TWINS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Minor League Hitter of the Day - Austin Martin (2-for-4, HR, BB) Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Simeon Woods Richardson (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 Brooks Lee - (1-for-3, BB) #4 Austin Martin - (2-for-4, HR, BB) #6 Simeon Woods Richardson - (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K) #9 Matt Wallner - (1-for-4, 2B, R) #14 Edouard Julien - (0-for-3, 2 BB) FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Saints - Jordan Balazovic Surge - Brent Headrick Kernels - TBD Mussels - TBD (Doubleheader) QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? LEAVE THEM BELOW! View full article
  19. The Minnesota Twins held on to win a game at Yankee Stadium Thursday. It was a nail-biter, but they prevailed 4-3. Carlos Correa delivered the lead with a late home run while Caleb Thielbar and Michael Fulmer protected it through a stressful final two innings. Down in the minors, Simeon Woods Richardson had a strong outing for St. Paul, Austin Martin homered for Wichita and both Matt Wallner and Brooks Lee made good plays in the field.
  20. The Minnesota Twins held on to win a game at Yankee Stadium Thursday. It was a nail-biter, but they prevailed 4-3. Carlos Correa delivered the lead with a late home run while Caleb Thielbar and Michael Fulmer protected it through a stressful final two innings. Down in the minors, Simeon Woods Richardson had a strong outing for St. Paul, Austin Martin homered for Wichita and both Matt Wallner and Brooks Lee made good plays in the field. View full video
  21. TRANSACTIONS INF/OF Dalton Shuffield promoted from Cedar Rapids to St. Paul C Dillon Tatum promoted from Fort Myers to Wichita C Ricardo Olivar promoted from FCL Twins to Fort Myers Wind Surge placed C Kyle Schmidt on the Injured List SAINTS SENTINEL Mud Hens 5, Saints 2 Box Score The Saints had trouble getting their offense going in a 5-2 loss to the Mud Hens Thursday. Simeon Woods Richardson started and allowed two runs over five strong innings. Woods Richardson struck out seven and walked three. It's been a wonderful bounce back season for SWR, who now owns a 3.12 ERA across both levels of the upper minors. Opponents are hitting just .212/.286/.307 off SWR this season and he's six years younger than his average competition at Triple-A. The Saints tallied five hits on the night, including four doubles from Matt Wallner, Mark Contreras, Elliot Soto, and John Andreoli. The game was tied at two after an RBI groundout from Michael Helman in the fifth. The Mud Hens took the lead in the sixth and never looked back. The Saints are 65-66 on the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Naturals 6, Wind Surge 3 Box Score The Wind Surge took a tough loss in the late innings Thursday night. Leobaldo Cabrera tied the game on an RBI single in the second. In the fifth, Austin Martin hit his second homer of the year to tie the game at three. Martin entered the game hitting .304/.467/.348 (.815 OPS) in 30 September plate appearances. It's been a down year for Martin but a strong finish could provide momentum for 2023. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, while Aaron Sabato also doubled. Francis Peguero was outstanding in relief, pitching 1 1/3 innings with one hit and no runs allowed. It was all Naturals from that point on. They scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth, securing the victory. Despite notching nine hits and drawing five walks, the Surge couldn’t score more than three. They left 25 men on base. The Surge are 71-57. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 2, Cubs 1 Box Score Travis Adams was terrific in his start for the Kernels in Thursday’s win. Adams allowed one run over five innings. The Kernels followed that up with four scoreless from the bullpen, including scoreless innings from Bobby Milacki, Sean Mooney, and Miguel Rodríguez. The trio struck out seven in a masterful pitching performance. Brooks Lee’s defense also helped. Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Jeferson Morales blasted a go-ahead two-run homer to left. It was Morales’ seventh homer of the season. The Kernels had only five total hits, but the swing from Morales was enough to seal the victory. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied two hits in the win. The Kernels are 73-56. MUSSEL MATTERS The Mussels’ doubleheader was rained out Thursday. TWINS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Minor League Hitter of the Day - Austin Martin (2-for-4, HR, BB) Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Simeon Woods Richardson (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 Brooks Lee - (1-for-3, BB) #4 Austin Martin - (2-for-4, HR, BB) #6 Simeon Woods Richardson - (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K) #9 Matt Wallner - (1-for-4, 2B, R) #14 Edouard Julien - (0-for-3, 2 BB) FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Saints - Jordan Balazovic Surge - Brent Headrick Kernels - TBD Mussels - TBD (Doubleheader) QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? LEAVE THEM BELOW!
  22. St. Paul's failed near comeback was the only loss in the Twins farm system Friday night. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 11, St. Paul 9 Box Score The Saints’ late charge fell just short Friday night. St. Paul scored seven of their nine runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after surrendering nine in the seventh and eighth combined. Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, RBI) and Mark Contreras (3-for-5, RBI) each hit two doubles, which account for all of St. Paul’s extra-base hits. Michael Helman (2-for-6) and Chris Williams (1-for-5) each drove in two runs. Simeon Woods Richardson performed admirably on the mound, striking out three and not surrendering an earned run in five innings. He now has a 3.29 ERA in 13 2/3 Triple-A innings. Devin Smeltzer and Brad Peacock surrendered nine runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Springfield 2 Box Score The Wind Surge brought home all six of their runs in the top half of the sixth inning to earn the win over the Cardinals. Edouard Julien (1-for-3) and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. (1-for-3) each picked up two RBI. All five of Wichita’s hits were singles, and as a team, they drew 10 walks. Five Wind Surge pitchers combined to throw nine innings with Alex Phillips earning the win. Aaron Rozek started and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 4 Box Score The Kernels clinched the win early as their bats drove in all six runs in the top of the first inning. The Dragons scored three in the bottom of the ninth when the game was already out of reach. Eighth hitter Charles Mack went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Wander Javier (1-for-4) also contributed two RBI. Travis Adams threw the first six innings and struck out six while giving up only one run. Bradley Hanner and Tyler Palm combined to throw the final three innings, striking out four and not allowing an earned run. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Bradenton 0 Box Score Keoni Cavaco’s three-run home run in the top of the second inning was all the Mighty Mussels need to pick up the win over the Marauders on Friday. Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, HR) was the lone Fort Myers batter to contribute multiple hits. Kala’i Rosario (1-for-3) also doubled. Marco Raya tossed the first three innings and struck out five while ushering two walks and a hit. Regi Grace was awarded the win after throwing three hitless innings in relief, striking out five and walking none. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Cedar Rapids): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, 2 BB #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3K #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, BB #8 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, BB #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 RBI #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3 #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Omaha (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-6, 9.06 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (2-2, 4.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Jaylin Nowlin (1-1, 3.27 ERA) Fort Myers (6:30 PM CST) - TBD View full article
  23. The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox had a benches-clearing incident Friday after Jorge Lopez hit Andrew Vaughn with a pitch. Manager Rocco Baldelli was, once again, very animated. The Twins remain a game back in the division after losing 4-3. On the minor league side, tonight's recap includes highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson, Michael Helman, Travis Adams, Marco Raya, Keoni Cavaco and more.
  24. The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox had a benches-clearing incident Friday after Jorge Lopez hit Andrew Vaughn with a pitch. Manager Rocco Baldelli was, once again, very animated. The Twins remain a game back in the division after losing 4-3. On the minor league side, tonight's recap includes highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson, Michael Helman, Travis Adams, Marco Raya, Keoni Cavaco and more. View full video
  25. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 11, St. Paul 9 Box Score The Saints’ late charge fell just short Friday night. St. Paul scored seven of their nine runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after surrendering nine in the seventh and eighth combined. Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, RBI) and Mark Contreras (3-for-5, RBI) each hit two doubles, which account for all of St. Paul’s extra-base hits. Michael Helman (2-for-6) and Chris Williams (1-for-5) each drove in two runs. Simeon Woods Richardson performed admirably on the mound, striking out three and not surrendering an earned run in five innings. He now has a 3.29 ERA in 13 2/3 Triple-A innings. Devin Smeltzer and Brad Peacock surrendered nine runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Springfield 2 Box Score The Wind Surge brought home all six of their runs in the top half of the sixth inning to earn the win over the Cardinals. Edouard Julien (1-for-3) and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. (1-for-3) each picked up two RBI. All five of Wichita’s hits were singles, and as a team, they drew 10 walks. Five Wind Surge pitchers combined to throw nine innings with Alex Phillips earning the win. Aaron Rozek started and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 4 Box Score The Kernels clinched the win early as their bats drove in all six runs in the top of the first inning. The Dragons scored three in the bottom of the ninth when the game was already out of reach. Eighth hitter Charles Mack went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Wander Javier (1-for-4) also contributed two RBI. Travis Adams threw the first six innings and struck out six while giving up only one run. Bradley Hanner and Tyler Palm combined to throw the final three innings, striking out four and not allowing an earned run. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Bradenton 0 Box Score Keoni Cavaco’s three-run home run in the top of the second inning was all the Mighty Mussels need to pick up the win over the Marauders on Friday. Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, HR) was the lone Fort Myers batter to contribute multiple hits. Kala’i Rosario (1-for-3) also doubled. Marco Raya tossed the first three innings and struck out five while ushering two walks and a hit. Regi Grace was awarded the win after throwing three hitless innings in relief, striking out five and walking none. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Cedar Rapids): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, 2 BB #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3K #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, BB #8 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, BB #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 RBI #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3 #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Omaha (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-6, 9.06 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (2-2, 4.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Jaylin Nowlin (1-1, 3.27 ERA) Fort Myers (6:30 PM CST) - TBD
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