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  1. Each year, you can find Top Prospect rankings and articles for your favorite team. The national sites post them. Your favorite Twins bloggers will write up their rankings. Today, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the Twins top prospects of this past decade. How would you rank them?While I am still working toward completing the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook, I am putting together my official 2020 Twins preseason Top 50 prospect rankings. In the Handbook, you can see my official prospect rankings dating back over 15 years. But I thought it might be fun to look back at the past decade and try to rank the top Twins prospects of the decade. To do so, I considered several sources. First and foremost, I looked at my Top 30 Twins prospect rankings from the last ten years. I also considered how the players ranked nationally. And then, I tossed in some opinion too. I hope you enjoy the rankings, and just as much, I hope you have some good memories as you think back to prospects past, guys who made it and guys who didn’t. Let’s start with some guys who just missed the list: Honorable Mention Max Kepler - Baseball America ranked him #30 before the 2016 season. One of the best European players of all-time already, Kepler signed in 2009. His 2015 season was one of the best that I can recall.Wander Javier - Signed to a $4 million signing bonus in 2015, he has shown talent and athleticism. He just hasn’t had the ability to stay on the field much. Baseball America ranked him #95 prior to the 2018 season.Jorge Polanco - Another international signing from 2009, Polanco is the longest-tenured player in the Twins organization, a few days longer than Max Kepler. Polanco was signed as a smooth infielder, but when he reached Cedar Rapids, it was his bat that took off. Before the 2016 season, he ranked #99 by Baseball America.Fernando Romero - Before the 2018, MLB.com ranked Romero the #68 prospect in baseball. He made his debut that season. He missed two years of development due to Tommy John surgery or it’s quite possible that he would have had more time to rank high nationally.Brusdar Graterol - Like Romero, Graterol missed about two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, but when he came back, he was hitting triple digits and people noticed. After staying healthy throughout the 2018 season, he ranked #33 by Baseball Prospectus and #55 by Baseball America. He should rank high again in 2020.Oswaldo Arcia - The Twins signed Arcia early. He put up huge numbers in the lower levels and then flew up the ladder. Baseball America ranked him #43 before the 2013 season. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2016. He’s just 28 years old.Brent Rooker - The Twins liked Rooker enough to draft him twice. Since the 2017 draft, he has moved up the ladder very quickly and is at the cusp of the big leagues.Baseball America ranked him #92 before the 2018 season. He spent 2019 in Rochester.Eddie Rosario - Rosario was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2010 and he has been hitting ever since. While Baseball American never put him in their Top 100, Baseball Prospectus ranked him #87 in 2012 and #60 before 2014.Kohl Stewart - The fourth-overall pick in the 2014 draft was a Top 100 prospect by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus before the 2014 and/or 2015 season, ranking 28th on BP’s pre-2015 rankings. He struggled to get strikeouts but limited damage. He signed with the Orioles earlier this week.Joe Benson - Benson was the Twins 2nd round pick in 2006. A great athlete, he had great speed and power potential. He ranked 100th by Baseball American before the 2011 season and 99th before the 2012 season. He spent that September with the Twins and never got back to the big leagues.Lewis Thorpe - The Twins signed him from Australia. Baseball Prospectus ranked him #101 in 2014 and #91 before the 2015 season. He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to Tommy John surgery. Since his return, he has pitched well and debuted in 2019.--------------------------------------------------------- #10 - Stephen Gonsalves The Twins selected Gonsalves from his southern California high school in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. While he wasn’t a flamethrower, Gonsalves simply put up numbers. In Low A, he went 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA. He had 121 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings. In Ft. Myers, he went 12-6 with a 2.48 ERA. In 145 innings, he struck out 121 batters. In AA, he went 19-4 with a 2.35 ERA. He had 213 strikeouts in 184 innings. In AAA, he went 10-6 with a 3.46 ERA. He had 119 strikeouts in 125 innings. He went 2-2 with the Twins late in the 2018 season. He missed most of 2019 with forearm and elbow issues. The Twins tried to sneak him through waivers after the season, but the New York Mets claimed him. Before the 2017 season, he ranked #99 by Baseball America. A year later, he ranked #97. MLB.com ranked him #78 before the 2018 season. Seth Rankings: 2014 (13), 2015 (15), 2016 (6), 2017 (1), 2018 (2), 2019 (10) #9 - Nick Gordon Gordon was the Twins top pick, fifth overall, in the 2014 draft. Along with genetics, he has a lot of talent. He’s got a smooth, line-drive swing and uses the whole field well. He’s athletic. He’s not as fast as his brother Dee, but he does have a little more power (though not much). He had a solid season in Rochester in 2019. Unfortunately he missed a lot of time with a knee injury. Prospect rankings love him. He was a Top 100 prospect before the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. He ranked #33 by MLB.com before the 2015 season. He ranked #35 by Baseball Prospectus before the 2018 season. Seth Rankings: 2015 (4), 2016 (4), 2017 (4), 2018 (3), 2019 (12) #8 - Kyle Gibson Gibson was the Twins first-round draft pick in 2009 (21st overall) out of Missouri. He made his pro debut in 2010 and pitched in Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester. He was on the verge of his big league debut. Before the 2011 season, Baseball America ranked him as the #34 prospect in baseball. Unfortunately, in late 2011, he had Tommy John surgery. He returned late in 2012. Before the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked him #68. Baseball Prospectus ranked him #64 and MLB.com had him ranked #49. Seth Rankings: 2010 (5), 2011 (1), 2012 (7), 2013 (6) #7 - Aaron Hicks Hicks was the 14th overall pick in 2008. He began appearing on prospect rankings in 2009. His prospect status peaked before the 2010 season when Baseball America ranked him #19 and Baseball Prospectus ranked #26. While he dropped out of the Top 100 before the 2012 season, he jumped back in before the 2013 season when he made his MLB debut. His combination of power and speed with a big arm and great centerfield defense made him intriguing to the Twins and scouts around the game. It took a little time for it to come together, but it certainly did. Seth Rankings: 2010 (1), 2011 (3), 2012 (4), 2013 (5) #6 - Alex Meyer It was well known that the Nationals really wanted Denard Span from the Twins, enough that they were willing to deal former first-round pick Alex Meyer straight-up for him following the 2012 season. At the time, Meyer was a consensus Top 100 prospect. At 6-9 with a fastball in the upper-90s, teams knew he was raw but had potential to become a top-of-rotation starter. A year later, he ranked even higher, and before the 2015 season, he was the 14th prospect (overall) by Baseball Prospectus. He pitched in four games for the Twins before being traded at the July 2016 deadline. He retired from baseball after a series of shoulder injuries after the 2019 season . Seth Rankings: 2013 (4), 2014 (3), 2015 (6), 2016 (14) #5 - Alex Kirilloff Kirilloff was the Twins top pick in 2016 (15th overall) out of high school. MLB.come ranked him #98 after that season, but he missed the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2018 and put together one of the best minor league seasons you’ll ever see, splitting his season in half between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He hit for average (.348) and power (44 doubles, 7 triples and 20 home runs). Before the 2019 season, MLB.com ranked him #9 while Baseball America ranked him at #15. Seth Rankings: 2017 (3), 2018 (5), 2019 (2), #4 - Jose Berrios Berrios was the Twins supplemental first-round draft pick (#32 overall) in the 2012 draft. While he was a high draft choice, he was seen as a very raw prospect. Some saw him as a back-of-rotation starter. But as Berrios continued to put up strong numbers throughout the minor leagues, and his workouts became well known, his prospect status rose. He was Top 100 by MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Before the 2015 season, all three national sites put him in their Top 50 prospects and kept him there before the 2016 season too. MLB.com and BP ranked him in their Top 20 before 2016. Seth Rankings: 2013 (8), 2014 (7), 2015 (3), 2016 (2) photo by Steve Buhr #3 - Royce Lewis Lewis was the first overall pick in the 2017 draft out of JSerra High School. He put up strong numbers that summer between the GCL and Cedar Rapids. Before the 2018 season, he ranked between #20 and #27 in the three national rankings. In 2018, he put together a strong season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, helping both to the playoffs and the Miracle to a Florida State League title. He showed he can play shortstop, hit and hit for power. Before the 2019 season, he was Top 10 in each. MLB.com ranked him highest at #5. He struggled with the bat in 2019, so he’ll likely drop some in the rankings, but he will still be in the Top 50 and should be much higher. Seth Rankings: 2018 (1), 2019 (1) #2 - Miguel Sano The Twins signed Sano in October 2009 from the Dominican. He was already the star of a documentary telling his unusual story and making him a known commodity around the baseball world. Before even playing a game as a pro, Baseball Prospectus ranked him #35. Even after missing the 2014 season with Tommy John surgery, Sano remained one of baseball’s top prospects. Baseball America ranked him in their Top 100 each year from 2010 through 2015. Four of those years he was Top 20, and twice he was in their Top 10. Baseball Prospectus also ranked him six straight seasons. He never got into their Top 10, but three of the years he ranked between 12 and 14. Lowest they ranked him was #31. MLB.com didn’t add him to their Top 100 until before the 2012 season. At that time, he ranked #23. Before the 2014 season, he reached #4 in their rankings. What made Sano so intriguing was his power potential, and we certainly have seen that! Seth Rankings: 2010 (3), 2011 (2), 2012 (1), 2013 (1), 2014 (2), 2015 (2) #1 - Byron Buxton Byron Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft out of high school in Georgia. Buxton was as toolsy as any player or prospect. He hit. He had some power. He played elite defense and had a strong, powerful arm. Not only did he have all the tools, but he put up huge numbers. In 2013, he hit .334 with 19 doubles, 17 triples and 12 homers between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He also stole 55 bases. Baseball America named him the minor league player of the year. Before the 2014 season, he was the consensus #1 prospect in baseball. He continued to impress as he climbed the ladder. Before the 2015 season, he ranked #1 by MLB.com and BP while Baseball American ranked him #2. Before the 2016, he ranked #2 across the board. In 2017, he won the American League Platinum Glove Award. In 2019, we saw him put it all together for the first half of the season. When he is healthy, he is as talented and impactful as any player in baseball … not named Mike Trout, of course. Seth Twins Rankings: 2013 (2), 2014 (1), 2015 (1), 2016 (1) -------------------------------------------------------- So there you have it… My Top 10 Twins Prospects of the Decade. What do you think? It really is an impressive group of prospects and many of them (and some of the Honorable Mentions too) have achieved success in the big leagues. Another theme is that the Twins have seen injuries affect so many of these players’ careers. Tommy John for pitchers and hitters. But the Twins have had a lot of talent and still more talent on the way. How would you rank these prospects? Did I miss anyone? Click here to view the article
  2. While I am still working toward completing the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook, I am putting together my official 2020 Twins preseason Top 50 prospect rankings. In the Handbook, you can see my official prospect rankings dating back over 15 years. But I thought it might be fun to look back at the past decade and try to rank the top Twins prospects of the decade. To do so, I considered several sources. First and foremost, I looked at my Top 30 Twins prospect rankings from the last ten years. I also considered how the players ranked nationally. And then, I tossed in some opinion too. I hope you enjoy the rankings, and just as much, I hope you have some good memories as you think back to prospects past, guys who made it and guys who didn’t. Let’s start with some guys who just missed the list: Honorable Mention Max Kepler - Baseball America ranked him #30 before the 2016 season. One of the best European players of all-time already, Kepler signed in 2009. His 2015 season was one of the best that I can recall. Wander Javier - Signed to a $4 million signing bonus in 2015, he has shown talent and athleticism. He just hasn’t had the ability to stay on the field much. Baseball America ranked him #95 prior to the 2018 season. Jorge Polanco - Another international signing from 2009, Polanco is the longest-tenured player in the Twins organization, a few days longer than Max Kepler. Polanco was signed as a smooth infielder, but when he reached Cedar Rapids, it was his bat that took off. Before the 2016 season, he ranked #99 by Baseball America. Fernando Romero - Before the 2018, MLB.com ranked Romero the #68 prospect in baseball. He made his debut that season. He missed two years of development due to Tommy John surgery or it’s quite possible that he would have had more time to rank high nationally. Brusdar Graterol - Like Romero, Graterol missed about two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, but when he came back, he was hitting triple digits and people noticed. After staying healthy throughout the 2018 season, he ranked #33 by Baseball Prospectus and #55 by Baseball America. He should rank high again in 2020. Oswaldo Arcia - The Twins signed Arcia early. He put up huge numbers in the lower levels and then flew up the ladder. Baseball America ranked him #43 before the 2013 season. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2016. He’s just 28 years old. Brent Rooker - The Twins liked Rooker enough to draft him twice. Since the 2017 draft, he has moved up the ladder very quickly and is at the cusp of the big leagues.Baseball America ranked him #92 before the 2018 season. He spent 2019 in Rochester. Eddie Rosario - Rosario was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2010 and he has been hitting ever since. While Baseball American never put him in their Top 100, Baseball Prospectus ranked him #87 in 2012 and #60 before 2014. Kohl Stewart - The fourth-overall pick in the 2014 draft was a Top 100 prospect by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus before the 2014 and/or 2015 season, ranking 28th on BP’s pre-2015 rankings. He struggled to get strikeouts but limited damage. He signed with the Orioles earlier this week. Joe Benson - Benson was the Twins 2nd round pick in 2006. A great athlete, he had great speed and power potential. He ranked 100th by Baseball American before the 2011 season and 99th before the 2012 season. He spent that September with the Twins and never got back to the big leagues. Lewis Thorpe - The Twins signed him from Australia. Baseball Prospectus ranked him #101 in 2014 and #91 before the 2015 season. He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to Tommy John surgery. Since his return, he has pitched well and debuted in 2019. --------------------------------------------------------- #10 - Stephen Gonsalves The Twins selected Gonsalves from his southern California high school in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. While he wasn’t a flamethrower, Gonsalves simply put up numbers. In Low A, he went 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA. He had 121 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings. In Ft. Myers, he went 12-6 with a 2.48 ERA. In 145 innings, he struck out 121 batters. In AA, he went 19-4 with a 2.35 ERA. He had 213 strikeouts in 184 innings. In AAA, he went 10-6 with a 3.46 ERA. He had 119 strikeouts in 125 innings. He went 2-2 with the Twins late in the 2018 season. He missed most of 2019 with forearm and elbow issues. The Twins tried to sneak him through waivers after the season, but the New York Mets claimed him. Before the 2017 season, he ranked #99 by Baseball America. A year later, he ranked #97. MLB.com ranked him #78 before the 2018 season. Seth Rankings: 2014 (13), 2015 (15), 2016 (6), 2017 (1), 2018 (2), 2019 (10) #9 - Nick Gordon Gordon was the Twins top pick, fifth overall, in the 2014 draft. Along with genetics, he has a lot of talent. He’s got a smooth, line-drive swing and uses the whole field well. He’s athletic. He’s not as fast as his brother Dee, but he does have a little more power (though not much). He had a solid season in Rochester in 2019. Unfortunately he missed a lot of time with a knee injury. Prospect rankings love him. He was a Top 100 prospect before the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. He ranked #33 by MLB.com before the 2015 season. He ranked #35 by Baseball Prospectus before the 2018 season. Seth Rankings: 2015 (4), 2016 (4), 2017 (4), 2018 (3), 2019 (12) #8 - Kyle Gibson Gibson was the Twins first-round draft pick in 2009 (21st overall) out of Missouri. He made his pro debut in 2010 and pitched in Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester. He was on the verge of his big league debut. Before the 2011 season, Baseball America ranked him as the #34 prospect in baseball. Unfortunately, in late 2011, he had Tommy John surgery. He returned late in 2012. Before the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked him #68. Baseball Prospectus ranked him #64 and MLB.com had him ranked #49. Seth Rankings: 2010 (5), 2011 (1), 2012 (7), 2013 (6) #7 - Aaron Hicks Hicks was the 14th overall pick in 2008. He began appearing on prospect rankings in 2009. His prospect status peaked before the 2010 season when Baseball America ranked him #19 and Baseball Prospectus ranked #26. While he dropped out of the Top 100 before the 2012 season, he jumped back in before the 2013 season when he made his MLB debut. His combination of power and speed with a big arm and great centerfield defense made him intriguing to the Twins and scouts around the game. It took a little time for it to come together, but it certainly did. Seth Rankings: 2010 (1), 2011 (3), 2012 (4), 2013 (5) #6 - Alex Meyer It was well known that the Nationals really wanted Denard Span from the Twins, enough that they were willing to deal former first-round pick Alex Meyer straight-up for him following the 2012 season. At the time, Meyer was a consensus Top 100 prospect. At 6-9 with a fastball in the upper-90s, teams knew he was raw but had potential to become a top-of-rotation starter. A year later, he ranked even higher, and before the 2015 season, he was the 14th prospect (overall) by Baseball Prospectus. He pitched in four games for the Twins before being traded at the July 2016 deadline. He retired from baseball after a series of shoulder injuries after the 2019 season . Seth Rankings: 2013 (4), 2014 (3), 2015 (6), 2016 (14) #5 - Alex Kirilloff Kirilloff was the Twins top pick in 2016 (15th overall) out of high school. MLB.come ranked him #98 after that season, but he missed the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2018 and put together one of the best minor league seasons you’ll ever see, splitting his season in half between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He hit for average (.348) and power (44 doubles, 7 triples and 20 home runs). Before the 2019 season, MLB.com ranked him #9 while Baseball America ranked him at #15. Seth Rankings: 2017 (3), 2018 (5), 2019 (2), #4 - Jose Berrios Berrios was the Twins supplemental first-round draft pick (#32 overall) in the 2012 draft. While he was a high draft choice, he was seen as a very raw prospect. Some saw him as a back-of-rotation starter. But as Berrios continued to put up strong numbers throughout the minor leagues, and his workouts became well known, his prospect status rose. He was Top 100 by MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Before the 2015 season, all three national sites put him in their Top 50 prospects and kept him there before the 2016 season too. MLB.com and BP ranked him in their Top 20 before 2016. Seth Rankings: 2013 (8), 2014 (7), 2015 (3), 2016 (2) photo by Steve Buhr #3 - Royce Lewis Lewis was the first overall pick in the 2017 draft out of JSerra High School. He put up strong numbers that summer between the GCL and Cedar Rapids. Before the 2018 season, he ranked between #20 and #27 in the three national rankings. In 2018, he put together a strong season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, helping both to the playoffs and the Miracle to a Florida State League title. He showed he can play shortstop, hit and hit for power. Before the 2019 season, he was Top 10 in each. MLB.com ranked him highest at #5. He struggled with the bat in 2019, so he’ll likely drop some in the rankings, but he will still be in the Top 50 and should be much higher. Seth Rankings: 2018 (1), 2019 (1) #2 - Miguel Sano The Twins signed Sano in October 2009 from the Dominican. He was already the star of a documentary telling his unusual story and making him a known commodity around the baseball world. Before even playing a game as a pro, Baseball Prospectus ranked him #35. Even after missing the 2014 season with Tommy John surgery, Sano remained one of baseball’s top prospects. Baseball America ranked him in their Top 100 each year from 2010 through 2015. Four of those years he was Top 20, and twice he was in their Top 10. Baseball Prospectus also ranked him six straight seasons. He never got into their Top 10, but three of the years he ranked between 12 and 14. Lowest they ranked him was #31. MLB.com didn’t add him to their Top 100 until before the 2012 season. At that time, he ranked #23. Before the 2014 season, he reached #4 in their rankings. What made Sano so intriguing was his power potential, and we certainly have seen that! Seth Rankings: 2010 (3), 2011 (2), 2012 (1), 2013 (1), 2014 (2), 2015 (2) #1 - Byron Buxton Byron Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft out of high school in Georgia. Buxton was as toolsy as any player or prospect. He hit. He had some power. He played elite defense and had a strong, powerful arm. Not only did he have all the tools, but he put up huge numbers. In 2013, he hit .334 with 19 doubles, 17 triples and 12 homers between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He also stole 55 bases. Baseball America named him the minor league player of the year. Before the 2014 season, he was the consensus #1 prospect in baseball. He continued to impress as he climbed the ladder. Before the 2015 season, he ranked #1 by MLB.com and BP while Baseball American ranked him #2. Before the 2016, he ranked #2 across the board. In 2017, he won the American League Platinum Glove Award. In 2019, we saw him put it all together for the first half of the season. When he is healthy, he is as talented and impactful as any player in baseball … not named Mike Trout, of course. Seth Twins Rankings: 2013 (2), 2014 (1), 2015 (1), 2016 (1) -------------------------------------------------------- So there you have it… My Top 10 Twins Prospects of the Decade. What do you think? It really is an impressive group of prospects and many of them (and some of the Honorable Mentions too) have achieved success in the big leagues. Another theme is that the Twins have seen injuries affect so many of these players’ careers. Tommy John for pitchers and hitters. But the Twins have had a lot of talent and still more talent on the way. How would you rank these prospects? Did I miss anyone?
  3. NELSON CRUZ 2020 OPTION ACTIVATED This barely qualifies as news. Activating the ultra-reasonable $12 million club option on Cruz was a total no-brainer, and the club's intention had already been announced via media reports. Nevertheless, it's now official: Boomstick is back. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1191478991129055234 MARTIN PEREZ 2020 OPTION DECLINED Around the middle of May, the decision to activate Perez's team option in 2020 looked about as obvious Cruz's does now. Through his first eight starts he put up a 2.17 ERA, pairing a standout cutter with eye-catching fastball velocity, but it was all downhill from there. He posted a 6.17 ERA the rest of the way and was left off the ALDS roster. The Twins are exercising a $500,000 buyout on the southpaw's $7.5 million option for next year, so he'll enter free agency. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Perez coming back on a one-year deal as a reliever (lefty batters hit just .228/.291/.294 against him this year), but the Twins clearly need to aim higher for the rotation. QUALIFYING OFFER EXTENDED TO JAKE ODORIZZI Coming off a breakthrough season, Odorizzi is poised to hit the open market, but the Twins now have an inside track on retaining him. By making him one of 10 free agents to receive a qualifying offer, the Twins have placed the ball in Odorizzi's court – he can either accept a one-year deal worth $17.8 million, or reject it and negotiate with other teams. Should he sign elsewhere, Minnesota will receive valuable draft pick compensation. Should he find the market underwhelming with this stipulation, the Twins gain leverage as the only team that won't lose a pick by signing him. Carl Pavano's 2010-11 offseason exemplifies such a scenario. It really could go either way with Odorizzi. On the one hand, $17.8 million is a lot of money (especially for a guy who's made around $20 million total in his MLB career), and accepting the QO would enable him to hit free agency unencumbered next winter. On the other hand, he's coming off an All-Star season, and he's still under 30. This might be his best chance to shop himself and score a career-making payday. If his market isn't hot, I assume the Twins would be amenable to a longer deal that makes sense for both sides (we suggested three years, $36 million in the Offseason Handbook). Either outcome puts the team in a favorable position. Odorizzi has 10 days to decide. Michael Pineda was not extended a qualifying offer, so he'll head to free agency with no hindrance other than the 39-game ban carrying over from this year. STEPHEN GONSALVES CLAIMED BY METS Minnesota tried to sneak the lanky left-handed pitching prospect through waivers, but weren't so lucky. Though his entire 2019 season was basically washed out by elbow issues, Gonsalves – Twins Daily's No. 4 prospect as recently as spring of 2018 – has a 2.50 ERA and 9.6 K/9 rate in the minors. He showed some intriguing signs during an altogether inconspicuous MLB debut last year. It's a bummer to lose him for nothing. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1191477486204456960 But it's also not a shocking or controversial call by the front office. The elbow issues are concerning and likely to linger. Even beyond that, there have always been questions about the viability of his middling fastball against big-league hitters. Turning 26 next season, he isn't young by prospect standards. There's certainly a chance the Twins could live to regret this, but they can mitigate that risk by aggressively pursuing high-caliber arms to replace Gonsalves and his enduring promise. KOHL STEWART OUTRIGHTED, ELECTS FREE AGENCY And there goes one of the most painful busts in franchise history. Drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in 2013, at a time where the Twins desperately needed a transcendent pitcher to reverse their sagging fortunes, Stewart never developed into anything more than a mediocre sinkerballer, incapable of missing bats or consistently throwing strikes anywhere above rookie ball. He departs Minnesota with a 4.79 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 62 big-league innings. Stewart isn't totally hopeless. He's still only 25 and a very good athlete. His outstanding ability to induce grounders is a building-block skill. Maybe a change of scenery will turn him around but the Twins could no longer justify giving him a 40-man spot. CATCHING COORDINATOR POACHED BY YANKEES Amidst this flurry of roster maneuvering, it was a non-player personnel move that hit me hardest today. Per Zone Coverage's Brandon Warne, Twins catching coordinator Tanner Swanson is leaving the club to join the Yankees (UGH) as Major League Catching and Quality Control Coach. https://twitter.com/Brandon_Warne/status/1191447014439043073 I've always heard good things about Swanson. My appreciation for him grew upon reading Parker's excellent spring training feature on his efforts to refine Mitch Garver's receiving technique, only to be crystallized as I saw those efforts pay off magnificently during the summer. Swanson is the real deal, and another tough loss in a young offseason that has already seen Minnesota lose hitting coach James Rowson and minor-league hitting coordinator Pete Fatse. If there's any silver lining to be found in this scavenging by rivals, it's that having baseball powerhouses like Boston and New York hiring out of your ranks says a lot about your eye for talent. The Twins' newly reassembled baseball ops unit is becoming a hotbed, and that's about the highest praise you could give Derek Falvey as he enters his third year on the job. (Speaking of which, let's us all just breathe a sigh of relief that Minnesota has evidently missed the biggest potential bullet: I wondered openly if the Red Sox would come calling on Falvey to replace fired GM Dave Dombrowski – turns out they did, and he said no.) How are you feeling about this smattering of moves to kick off Twins' offseason? Anything you'd have done differently? Sound off in the comments. And now an odd request from the Twins Daily community: if you found this page via Facebook, can you please add a comment telling us from which Facebook Page you followed it? It's getting quite a bit of traffic, and we would love to know who is sharing it. Thanks.
  4. The Minnesota Twins' offseason officially kicked off on Monday, with the club announcing several significant roster moves. Nelson Cruz will be back, Martin Perez will not (at least not on the same contract), and Jake Odorizzi faces a tough decision. Meanwhile, another key instructor was extracted by another (dreaded) team, and a pair of former top pitching prospects exited the organization. Read on for more detail on each of these developments as the Hot Stove begins to spark.NELSON CRUZ 2020 OPTION ACTIVATED This barely qualifies as news. Activating the ultra-reasonable $12 million club option on Cruz was a total no-brainer, and the club's intention had already been announced via media reports. Nevertheless, it's now official: Boomstick is back. I've always heard good things about Swanson. My appreciation for him grew upon reading Parker's excellent spring training feature on his efforts to refine Mitch Garver's receiving technique, only to be crystallized as I saw those efforts pay off magnificently during the summer. Swanson is the real deal, and another tough loss in a young offseason that has already seen Minnesota lose hitting coach James Rowson and minor-league hitting coordinator Pete Fatse. If there's any silver lining to be found in this scavenging by rivals, it's that having baseball powerhouses like Boston and New York hiring out of your ranks says a lot about your eye for talent. The Twins' newly reassembled baseball ops unit is becoming a hotbed, and that's about the highest praise you could give Derek Falvey as he enters his third year on the job. (Speaking of which, let's us all just breathe a sigh of relief that Minnesota has evidently missed the biggest potential bullet: I wondered openly if the Red Sox would come calling on Falvey to replace fired GM Dave Dombrowski – turns out they did, and he said no.) How are you feeling about this smattering of moves to kick off Twins' offseason? Anything you'd have done differently? Sound off in the comments. And now an odd request from the Twins Daily community: if you found this page via Facebook, can you please add a comment telling us from which Facebook Page you followed it? It's getting quite a bit of traffic, and we would love to know who is sharing it. Thanks. Click here to view the article
  5. Apart from Littell, the group that has filtered into the Twins bullpen has largely been composed of rising prospects earning a look. Although Stewart was a former first- round pick by Minnesota, it has been just Littell that is still considered a relatively high-level prospect. His performances have had Minnesota working on a plan designed towards more relief success, and in short bursts, the former Yankees prospect has certainly looked the part. The next man up could be coming from a trio of arms that were never considered to be in a position of fluctuation. Trevor Hildenberger was once the Twins reliever in the highest leverage situations. Stephen Gonsalves is a former top pitching prospect, and Brusdar Graterol has seen his name appear on plenty of current top 100 lists. It’s in this group that the front office has some interesting options, and significantly different paths at their disposal. Sidewinding Star Hildenberger owned a 3.21 ERA in just over 40 innings two years ago. His FIP suggested he was even better, and the 9.4 K/9 compared to the 1.3 BB/9 was exceptional. Minnesota had turned a 22nd-round pick into a valuable weapon. Then as that season, and the next wore on, Paul Molitor appeared to ride the hot arm into the ground. Through July 13, 2018 Hildenberger had already made 42 appearances for the Twins and turned in a 2.80 ERA. He was called on for another 28 innings from that point forward and his ERA in that stretch was an ugly 9.64 with a .995 OPS against. The result was a 5.42 ERA and a pitcher that looked anything but the 2017 version of himself. Entering 2019 the hope was that there’d be a turnaround, but an ugly 14 innings to start, and then an eventual injury at Triple-A shelved that promise. Now healthy and on a rehab stint for Triple-A Rochester, Trevor is battling his way back. He’ll need to prove 2019’s start, at both the MLB and Triple-A levels, are behind him and that there’s a very good pitcher in there somewhere. Having thrown significant high-leverage innings previously, something close to the 2017 version of him would be a massive addition for Minnesota down the stretch and in the postseason. Lanky Lefty A former top 100 prospect, Stephen Gonsalves getting a clean bill of health is among the best developments he’s had in 2019. Dealing with shoulder issues since the get go, he pitched just two innings at Triple-A Rochester before shutting it back down. Now rehabbing at the GCL level, he’s turned in two successful outings and the arm has come through unscathed. Gonsalves isn’t a huge strikeout guy, and walks have plagued him over the course of his career, but this is certainly an arm with upside. In 100 Triple-A innings during 2018 he posted a 2.96 ERA. Working out of the bullpen would be new for him, as he’s started 118 of the 126 professional appearances he’s made, but it could be a role in which he could help the Twins. Having utilized spot-starters in certain situations this year, Gonsalves could also factor into that mix. His pitch counts are likely going to be scrutinized with the non-existent workload this season, but letting it fly may be easier without the additional miles. Having talked to him this spring, Wes Johnson had implemented some impactful velocity knowledge on the minor league group, and Gonsalves’ maturity combined with the MLB experience from 2018, may work in his favor for a September contribution. Little La Makina Arguably the best pitching prospect in Minnesota’s system at present, Graterol could find his way to the big leagues in relief this year. He’s been a starter since signing out of Venezuela, but there’s some thought his long term role comes in the bullpen anyway. He too has dealt with shoulder issues this year, but has been cleared and is back pumping triple digits. A guy like Graterol could fill the role Minnesota talked up for prospect Fernando Romero coming into spring training. Turning in two or three inning bursts out of the pen, Graterol wouldn’t need to worry about pitch counts and could immediately attack opposing hitters. As referenced above, he’s got a fastball that can break the radar gun, and his career K/BB rates are plenty fine. It would be an aggressive jump from Double-A to a major league bullpen, but Graterol would be working more on refinement in Triple-A than anything else. Where both Hildenberger and Gonsalves provide somewhat of a safe but predictable option for the Twins, Graterol is the boom or bust type that represents the highest ceiling the rest of the way. No more trades are happening for this club, and there’s a low probability that clubs are designating relievers of substance at this point. If Minnesota wants to right the ship on the mound, starting or relieving, the performances will need to come from within. Turnover at the end of the bullpen has seen plenty of arms get their shot, but this unique trio provides an avenue for a true answer if everything breaks right. This season is the last in which big league rosters expand to the full 40-man come September. Should any of these arms be right as evidenced by their rehab assignments, it’s a good bet to see one, if not all, in the next few weeks.
  6. Sometime I’ll get back to my groove of making terrible puns in the title based off player’s names but today is not that day. Anyways, there was a perfect day at the plate, a walk-off walk, two notable rehab assignments, and a lot of offense in the minors, all that and more in this edition of the minor league report.TRANSACTIONS LHP Ian Krol placed on the Restricted List at AAA Rochester LHP Ryan O’ Rourke signed and assigned to AAA Rochester CF Ian Miller acquired from the Mariners and assigned to AAA Rochester RHP Trevor Hildenberger sent to GCL Twins on a rehab assignment LHP Stephen Gonsalves sent to GCL Twins on a rehab assignment 3B Jake Hirabayashi assigned to GCL Twins CF DaShawn Kiersey activated from the IL at A Cedar Rapids SS Ricky De La Torre assigned to Elizabethton from A Cedar Rapids RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Louisville 5 (10 innings) Box Score Charlie Barnes: 4 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Wilin Rosario (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R), Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 3B, 5 RBI) The Red Wings won a wild extra-innings affair this Saturday. Charlie Barnes made his AAA debut and had a rough go of it as he gave up four runs while striking out as many as he walked. Hopefully it gets better for Barnes as he continues to pitch at AAA. Ryan O’ Rourke made his Rochester debut and his first game back for the Twins organization since October 2nd 2016. It was an interesting outing as he got out of a bases loaded situation with one out in the 9th and then stranded two more runners in the 10th. He walked three and struck out one. Alejandro De Aza was the backbone of the offense as he had a two run single in the 1st, a two run triple in the 6th, and the bases-loaded walk to walk it off in the 10th, giving him an impressive five RBIs on the night and a terrible “walk-off” joke that I refuse to make. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 8, Mobile 5 Box Score Gabriel Moya: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-for-5, 2 2B, R, RBI), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2 R), Mark Contreras (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) The Blue Wahoos ran a bullpen game this Saturday to the win. In total, five Blue Wahoos pitchers combined to strike out fifteen batters without giving up a walk, an impressive feat. After the 4th inning, they only gave up three hits in total while striking out seven. Royce Lewis had a double double as the Blue Wahoos continue to experiment with Alex Kirilloff hitting leadoff with Lewis 2nd instead of the other way around when Lewis was first promoted. Kirilloff also had the impressive no hits yet two RBIs performance, whatever works my man. This was partly because the bottom of the order did a good job setting the table as Ryan Costello, Jimmy Kerrigan, and Mark Contreras all had two runs scored despite being the 6-7-8 hitters respectively. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 9, Jupiter 2 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Jose Miranda 2 (8), Trey Cabbage (7) Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (2-for-5, 2B, R), Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI), Trey Cabbage (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI), David Banuelos (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Miracle cared not for this writer having to put in who all had a multi-hit effort as they hit all over the place this Saturday. Jose Miranda was the leader of the charge as he blasted two home runs for the first multi-homer game of his professional career. Trey Cabbage didn’t want him to feel left out so he also hit a home run so Miranda didn’t feel bad. Blayne Enlow had a good start as he allowed just one earned run over his six innings of work, showing that offense isn’t the only reason to come and watch the game! David Banuelos had a multi-hit game but proved that the base paths matter too as he stole his first base of the year but was also picked off, what goes around can come around I suppose. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 4 Box Score Tyler Palm: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (5-for-5, 2B, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4) It was quite the exciting win for Cedar Rapids. Gilberto Celestino continued to flat-out rake as he was a perfect 5-for-5 and became the first Kernel to have a five hit game since Jermaine Palacios in 2017. Tyler Palm allowed just one earned run over his six innings of work as he attempted to make choosing between him and Enlow for pitcher of the day a difficult decision. The Kernels were down by a run headed into the bottom of the 7th but a wild pitch, a Yunior Severino single, and an Albee Weiss single plated five and gave the Kernels the lead. Brian Rapp pitched the last three innings to end the game after Palm went six and despite giving up a pair of runs, the lead stayed and Rapp was credited with the win. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 13, Johnson City 7 Box Score Tyler Benninghoff: 4 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4 K HR: Parker Phillips (3), Matt Wallner (5) Multi-hit games: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI), Matt Wallner (2-for-5, HR, 3 R, RBI), Parker Phillips (2-for-3, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI), Seth Gray (3-for-3, 2 2B, R), Trevor Jensen (2-for-5, R, RBI) The offense headed by a few 2019 draft picks took hold for Elizabethton as they put up an organizational-high thirteen runs (for the day that is). The end total was thirteen hits along with seven walks that allowed seven different batters to collect an RBI. It’s also pretty rare to see someone score three times and not lead the team that game as Matt Wallner was outscored by Parker Phillips who touched home plate on four different occasions. In a game like this, there isn’t much on the pitching side of things but one of my favorites in Ryan Shreve pitched in relief and he picked up five strikeouts in his outing. Coming into the game, the 2019 draft pick had a 12.44 K/9, so he is no stranger to punching tickets. GCL Twins Takes Game one: GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 2 (7 innings) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Alec Craig (2-for-4) Would you look at that! Stephen Gonsalves pitched started his rehab assignment and pitched for the first time in a few months. He gave up a homer but just the fact that he’s back to throwing in a professional game is a good reason to be excited. And it didn’t end there for rehabbing pitchers as Trevor Hildenberger relieved Gonsalves and threw a scoreless inning. It really is great to see both pitchers back on the mound after being out for awhile. Unfortunately, the feel-goodness pretty much ends there as the GCL Twins were unable to put much together offensively and were shutout in the loss. They collected just four hits and all of them were singles. Game two: GCL Twins 11, GCL Red Sox 5 (7 innings) Box Score Steve Theetge: ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K HR: Francisco Martinez (3) Multi-hit games: Jeferson Morales (3-for-5, 3B, R, RBI), Victor Heredia (3-for-4, 3 RBI), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, R), Francisco Martinez (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI), Bryson Gandy (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI) Well it seems like the offense was feeling much better in this game as game two of the doubleheader saw eleven runs scored over just seven innings of play. This came with fourteen hits and as many extra-base hits as the previous game had hits for the GCL Twins (4). Steve Theetge started the game and was removed for Anthony Escobar after getting two outs. Escobar got thirteen outs in relief while only giving up a single run and striking out three. Somewhat notable is that Keoni Cavaco was absent from the lineup in both games but this isn’t uncommon as he could either just be resting or focusing on other aspects of professional baseball on Saturday (i.e. workouts). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gilberto Celestino and Jose Miranda (I couldn’t pick) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 2-for-5, 2 2B, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, 2 RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, BB, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did not play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, BB, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - Did not play #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 2-for-5, HR, 3 R, RBI, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-for-4 #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-5 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) - RHP Sean Poppen Pensacola @ Mobile (2:05 P.M.) - TBD Jupiter @ Fort Myers (10:00 A.M.) - LHP Lachlan Wells Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Andrew Cabezas Pulaski @ Elizabethton (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Ben Gross Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  7. Over a two-week span, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects. Minnesota has some of the best prospects in the game and one of the strongest farm systems. There have been some changes from our preseason top-20 list, but most of those changes are draft picks and strong performances. Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 25th through 21st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 25. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 19 ETA: 2023 2019 Stats (A-): .269/.367/.269 (.636 OPS), 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 7 K, 4 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 15 Seth: 34 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 18 | Ted: 25 | Steve: NR Severino took a roundabout way of getting to the Twins organization. During the 2017 international signing period, the Twins had their eyes set on Severino. He decided to sign with Atlanta, but the Braves had circumvented international spending rules. Severino and 13 other prospects had their contract voided. In his first taste of full-season ball, Severino has seen limited action because of a broken thumb. Prior to the injury, he had gone 6-for-22 with four walks and seven strikeouts. Severino continues to add weight to his frame and with it should come some more power. When he is healthy, he should be a player to move quickly up this list. 24. Edwar Colina - RHP Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): 41.0 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 3.55 K/BB 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 13 | Tom: 30 | Cody: 35 | Ted: 31 | Steve: 13 Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 out of Venezuela. Last year was a breakout season for him at Cedar Rapids. Over his final six starts at that level, he had 51 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. He has spent all this season in Fort Myers after finishing at that level last year. His first start was a little rough as he allowed six earned runs on eight hits and he couldn’t finish the fifth inning. Since then, he has posted a 2.48 with 34 strikeouts and 8 walks in 36 1/3 innings. Colina has a lot of strength in his lower half and this helps him to reach into the mid-90s with his fastball. He mixes in a good changeup and a solid breaking ball. If he continues to pitch well, he could be in the Pensacola rotation before the season ends. 23. Jose Miranda – 3B/2B Age: 20 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): .235/.300/.350 (.650 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 37 K, 16 BB 2019 Ranking: 20 Seth: 28 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 26 | Ted: 26 | Steve: 30 Minnesota took Jose Miranda with their second-round pick in 2016. He played a big role in last year’s FSL championship run with Fort Myers as he went 10-for-25 (.400) with three doubles and a pair of home runs. The right-handed hitting infielder has combined for 91 regular season games at High-A over the last two seasons. During that time, he has hit .229/.297/.351 (.648) with 27 extra-base hits and a 48 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. After hitting 16 home runs last year, his power has dipped a little. It would be nice to see him have a hot second half like last year. Miranda has split time playing second base and third base throughout his professional career and this year he has spent most of his time at the hot corner. 22. Zack Littell - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2018 2019 Stats: MLB: 9.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, 7.00 K/BB (AAA): 50.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 3.41 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 17 Seth: 39 | Tom: 15 | Cody: 15 | Ted: 27 | Steve: NR Littell was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Jaime Garcia trade back in 2017. He was a little bit of a polarizing prospect when it came to these rankings. Even though he is being used as a relief pitcher at the big-league level, some of us still think he could fit in as a starter. His MLB numbers look a little rough because he allowed eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings back on May 30. In his other three appearances, he has yet to allow a run. His fastball has increased this season, which usually can be expected for pitchers coming out of the bullpen. He can help the bullpen this season and it will be interesting to see if the club keeps him there long-term. 21. Stephen Gonsalves - LHP ETA: 2018 Age: 24 2019 Stats (AAA): 2.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 22.5 BB/9, 0.40 K/BB 2019 Ranking: 12 Seth: 22 | Tom: 28 | Cody: 20 | Ted: 20 | Steve: 14 Gonsalves, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has been one of the Twins best starting pitchers in the minors over the last half of a decade. So far this year, he has been limited to one appearance. He is dealing with a stress reaction in his elbow and forearm. His UCL is intact, so the club is using a period of rest before he will be reexamined. He dominated at Double-A and High-A with sub-2.50 ERAs and sub 1.16 WHIP totals. Triple-A has seen some ups and downs with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 125 innings. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball so it’s critical for him to have command of all his pitches. His change-up might be his best pitch and he adds in a low-70s curveball as well. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 (TODAY) Prospects 16-20 Coming Soon
  8. Prospects in the mid-20s range for an organization can encompass quite the cornucopia of players. Some on the names below were once considered top-100 prospects in all of baseball. However, prospects can be fickle and that’s why it’s not a good idea for fans to get attached to certain names. Only a handful of players will ever be successful at baseball’s highest level.Over a two-week span, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects. Minnesota has some of the best prospects in the game and one of the strongest farm systems. There have been some changes from our preseason top-20 list, but most of those changes are draft picks and strong performances. Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 25th through 21st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 25. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 19 ETA: 2023 2019 Stats (A-): .269/.367/.269 (.636 OPS), 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 7 K, 4 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 15 Seth: 34 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 18 | Ted: 25 | Steve: NR Severino took a roundabout way of getting to the Twins organization. During the 2017 international signing period, the Twins had their eyes set on Severino. He decided to sign with Atlanta, but the Braves had circumvented international spending rules. Severino and 13 other prospects had their contract voided. In his first taste of full-season ball, Severino has seen limited action because of a broken thumb. Prior to the injury, he had gone 6-for-22 with four walks and seven strikeouts. Severino continues to add weight to his frame and with it should come some more power. When he is healthy, he should be a player to move quickly up this list. 24. Edwar Colina - RHP Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): 41.0 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 3.55 K/BB 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 13 | Tom: 30 | Cody: 35 | Ted: 31 | Steve: 13 Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 out of Venezuela. Last year was a breakout season for him at Cedar Rapids. Over his final six starts at that level, he had 51 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. He has spent all this season in Fort Myers after finishing at that level last year. His first start was a little rough as he allowed six earned runs on eight hits and he couldn’t finish the fifth inning. Since then, he has posted a 2.48 with 34 strikeouts and 8 walks in 36 1/3 innings. Colina has a lot of strength in his lower half and this helps him to reach into the mid-90s with his fastball. He mixes in a good changeup and a solid breaking ball. If he continues to pitch well, he could be in the Pensacola rotation before the season ends. 23. Jose Miranda – 3B/2B Age: 20 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): .235/.300/.350 (.650 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 37 K, 16 BB 2019 Ranking: 20 Seth: 28 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 26 | Ted: 26 | Steve: 30 Minnesota took Jose Miranda with their second-round pick in 2016. He played a big role in last year’s FSL championship run with Fort Myers as he went 10-for-25 (.400) with three doubles and a pair of home runs. The right-handed hitting infielder has combined for 91 regular season games at High-A over the last two seasons. During that time, he has hit .229/.297/.351 (.648) with 27 extra-base hits and a 48 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. After hitting 16 home runs last year, his power has dipped a little. It would be nice to see him have a hot second half like last year. Miranda has split time playing second base and third base throughout his professional career and this year he has spent most of his time at the hot corner. 22. Zack Littell - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2018 2019 Stats: MLB: 9.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, 7.00 K/BB (AAA): 50.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 3.41 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 17 Seth: 39 | Tom: 15 | Cody: 15 | Ted: 27 | Steve: NR Littell was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Jaime Garcia trade back in 2017. He was a little bit of a polarizing prospect when it came to these rankings. Even though he is being used as a relief pitcher at the big-league level, some of us still think he could fit in as a starter. His MLB numbers look a little rough because he allowed eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings back on May 30. In his other three appearances, he has yet to allow a run. His fastball has increased this season, which usually can be expected for pitchers coming out of the bullpen. He can help the bullpen this season and it will be interesting to see if the club keeps him there long-term. 21. Stephen Gonsalves - LHP ETA: 2018 Age: 24 2019 Stats (AAA): 2.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 22.5 BB/9, 0.40 K/BB 2019 Ranking: 12 Seth: 22 | Tom: 28 | Cody: 20 | Ted: 20 | Steve: 14 Gonsalves, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has been one of the Twins best starting pitchers in the minors over the last half of a decade. So far this year, he has been limited to one appearance. He is dealing with a stress reaction in his elbow and forearm. His UCL is intact, so the club is using a period of rest before he will be reexamined. He dominated at Double-A and High-A with sub-2.50 ERAs and sub 1.16 WHIP totals. Triple-A has seen some ups and downs with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 125 innings. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball so it’s critical for him to have command of all his pitches. His change-up might be his best pitch and he adds in a low-70s curveball as well. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 (TODAY) Prospects 16-20 Coming Soon Click here to view the article
  9. Coming into the season the one real glaring area of weakness for the Minnesota Twins was their relief corps. Relying on unproven commodities like Matt Magill and Ryne Harper seemed lofty, and the high leverage arms came in the form of Blake Parker and Taylor Rogers. Fast forward to today and the pitching staff has performed admirably with the bullpen significantly surpassing fan expectations. If there’s a call to be made though, it may come from further down the ladder. Today the Twins promoted Devin Smeltzer to make his major league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers. Smeltzer was acquired from the Dodgers last season in the deal that sent Brian Dozier to Los Angeles. After working solely as a reliever in Double-A last season for Minnesota, Smeltzer made five starts in Pensacola this year before four turns at Triple-A. He’s just 23 years old, and the promotion schedule has been an aggressive one. In calling up Smeltzer to replace Michael Pineda in the starting rotation the wheels should begin spinning on who could be next. So far, we’ve seen both Kohl Stewart and Zack Littell from Rochester this season, but that’s about where the options end right now. Lewis Thorpe doesn’t have strong numbers and Stephen Gonsalves twirled just two innings before landing back on the Injured List. Given the aggressiveness shown by the Twins front office, and circumstance regarding available options, the next man up could currently be at Double-A. Jorge Alcala was acquired as the key piece in exchange for Ryan Pressly. Pumping a triple-digit fastball, he’s put together a season that’s been significantly better than some of his surface numbers. Through 48 innings he owns a 4.69 ERA with a 10.3 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. Where things look even more promising is that he’s been bit by a .357 BABIP and his FIP stands at 2.95 with a 3.27 xFIP. In short, there’s a good deal of bad luck going on, and much better peripherals than the gaudy ERA suggests. Recently on the Twins radio broadcast, Derek Falvey offered up Alcala’s name as one the Twins may end up seeing as soon as this year. He’s 23 years old and has certainly advanced his prospect stock this season. Whether in a spot start or for some firepower out of the pen, it may be the Dominican native that emerges as the next most likely option. Certainly, it’d be great for Minnesota if some of the relief arms at Triple-A Rochester got back on track, or guys like Gonsalves and Brusdar Graterol returned to a clean bill of health. As contingency plans though, we’ve seen the aggressive movement of players like Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak, and others. The Twins will need to rely on some depth as the season goes along, and Alcala is providing that despite not being on the immediate doorstep. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  10. On Saturday morning, the Kernels made official what we started hearing rumblings of on Friday night. Wander Javier was set to join the Kernels. The immensely talented shortstop will make his 2019 debut on Saturday night, and play in his first official game since 2017. He missed 2018 with a non-throwing shoulder injury, and he hurt his quad in a big league spring training game. However, on Saturday, the Twins announced some major injuries in the Twins minor leagues, and frankly, that has been an unfortunately large story so far this season.Let's get right to the bad news. The Twins announced the following: Brusdar Graterol is going on the IL for Pensacola with a shoulder impingement. While the Twins said that they are bringing many minor leaguers in to Target Field for evaluation - which is 100% true - Graterol was brought in this week to have his shoulder evaluated. A shoulder impingement is not a serious injury in and of itself, but if not diagnosed and treated, it could become worse. Stephen Gonsalves is going back on the IL for Rochester with a left elbow stress reaction. Gonsalves felt a little elbow soreness in spring training and the team decided to be cautious with it. He slowly worked his way up to being able to return to the Red Wings rotation. Last week, he made his first start of the season, but he struggled and left after two innings. A stress reaction in and of itself isn't terrible news, but it will require rest. Obviously the hope is to avoid Tommy John surgery. Akil Baddoo, the talented Miracle outfielder, will miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery. Baddoo went on the IL about ten days ago with the elbow pain. It was further evaluated and the UCL was torn, so Tommy John it is. As a position player, the hope is that he will be ready for spring training in 2020. He will be having the surgery about two months later than Alex Kirilloff had it in 2017. Kirilloff was full go around Thanksgiving. Another outfielder, Rochester's Luke Raley, is going to have ankle surgery. Raley went on the IL a week ago. It is unfortunate because he was playing well and playing hard and really making an impression on those around the Red Wings. It has been a tough season for top prospects and injuries. Royce Lewis went to big league spring training, but he was unable to play for most of camp because of an oblique injury. He was ready by Opening Day and hasn't missed time in the season. Alex Kirilloff, coming off of an incredible 2018 season, hurt his wrist late in spring training and missed about a month at the beginning of the season. Nick Gordon began the season on the IL with a stomach issue. He returned a month later, but after playing really well for a week, he went back on the Injured List for seven more days with a strained adductor. He has returned again and continues to hit. Brent Rooker missed about a week early in the season with a hamstring injury. He is currently on the IL with a wrist injury. Just a handful of games into the Kernels season, Yunior Severino fractured his thumb and tore some tendons as well. Righty Bailey Ober was runner-up for our Starting Pitcher of the Month for April and then went on the IL with another elbow issue. The Twins Daily choice for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Tyler Wells, has been out all season with an elbow injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery on May 29. DaShawn Keirsey, the Twins 4th-round pick last June, has had a couple of IL appearances already this season. This article isn't to place blame. It's just another reminder that player development isn't linear. Injuries are a factor and they don't have prejudice. They will find highly-ranked prospects or lesser-known prospects. They can bite a pitcher or a hitter at any time. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, though I don't pretend to know a lot of the details behind many of these. Click here to view the article
  11. Let's get right to the bad news. The Twins announced the following: Brusdar Graterol is going on the IL for Pensacola with a shoulder impingement. While the Twins said that they are bringing many minor leaguers in to Target Field for evaluation - which is 100% true - Graterol was brought in this week to have his shoulder evaluated. A shoulder impingement is not a serious injury in and of itself, but if not diagnosed and treated, it could become worse. Stephen Gonsalves is going back on the IL for Rochester with a left elbow stress reaction. Gonsalves felt a little elbow soreness in spring training and the team decided to be cautious with it. He slowly worked his way up to being able to return to the Red Wings rotation. Last week, he made his first start of the season, but he struggled and left after two innings. A stress reaction in and of itself isn't terrible news, but it will require rest. Obviously the hope is to avoid Tommy John surgery. Akil Baddoo, the talented Miracle outfielder, will miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery. Baddoo went on the IL about ten days ago with the elbow pain. It was further evaluated and the UCL was torn, so Tommy John it is. As a position player, the hope is that he will be ready for spring training in 2020. He will be having the surgery about two months later than Alex Kirilloff had it in 2017. Kirilloff was full go around Thanksgiving. Another outfielder, Rochester's Luke Raley, is going to have ankle surgery. Raley went on the IL a week ago. It is unfortunate because he was playing well and playing hard and really making an impression on those around the Red Wings. It has been a tough season for top prospects and injuries. Royce Lewis went to big league spring training, but he was unable to play for most of camp because of an oblique injury. He was ready by Opening Day and hasn't missed time in the season. Alex Kirilloff, coming off of an incredible 2018 season, hurt his wrist late in spring training and missed about a month at the beginning of the season. Nick Gordon began the season on the IL with a stomach issue. He returned a month later, but after playing really well for a week, he went back on the Injured List for seven more days with a strained adductor. He has returned again and continues to hit. Brent Rooker missed about a week early in the season with a hamstring injury. He is currently on the IL with a wrist injury. Just a handful of games into the Kernels season, Yunior Severino fractured his thumb and tore some tendons as well. Righty Bailey Ober was runner-up for our Starting Pitcher of the Month for April and then went on the IL with another elbow issue. The Twins Daily choice for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Tyler Wells, has been out all season with an elbow injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery on May 29. DaShawn Keirsey, the Twins 4th-round pick last June, has had a couple of IL appearances already this season. This article isn't to place blame. It's just another reminder that player development isn't linear. Injuries are a factor and they don't have prejudice. They will find highly-ranked prospects or lesser-known prospects. They can bite a pitcher or a hitter at any time. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, though I don't pretend to know a lot of the details behind many of these.
  12. There were only three games on Tuesday as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos had the day off and another contest was rained out. In Fort Myers, the game that was suspended due to rain yesterday was finished, in addition to a regularly scheduled bill. In the games that were played, a top pitching prospect in Triple-A made his first start of the 2019 season, while a slugger in the Florida State League continued a scorching hot stretch with another home run (though technically he hit it yesterday).Keep reading to find out how all of your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects performed on Tuesday! TRANSACTIONS Stephen Gonsalves was activated from the injured list and made the start for Rochester.Nick Gordon also was activated for the Red Wings and was back atop their batting order on the lineup card.RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo 5, Rochester 0 Box Score Left-handed starter Stephen Gonsalves made his much anticipated 2019 debut for the Red Wings on Tuesday night, but he definitely looked rusty. He only allowed one run but was able to finish only two innings as he walked five while striking out two as just 23 of his 51 pitches went for strikes (45%). D.J. Baxendale was the first man up in relief and delivered three perfect innings. 25 of his 36 pitches went for strikes (69%) as he switched up the mojo on the Bisons and struck out four. Zack Weiss went the next two frames and also struck out four, but a double-steal from Buffalo was followed by a wild-pitch in the sixth to put them up 2-0. Trevor Hildenberger was brought in for his second appearance back in Triple-A in the eighth and delivered a one-two-three inning, striking out two. But the ninth didn’t go nearly that well. He finished the game for the Red Wings but in the process allowed three runs on five hits for the final score of 5-0. He finished with three K’s. While the Bisons only outhit the home team 7-6, they were able to cash in some of their opportunities by going 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position compared to the Red Wings 0-for-10 effort. Randy Cesar (2-for-3, 2B) and Jordany Valdespin (2-for-3, BB) each had two hits and Zander Wiel also added a double. Nick Gordon went 0-for-5 in his return from the injured list. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled day off Pensacola lost their first series of the season against the Mobile BayBears over the weekend but that can’t overshadow one of the best starts in Southern League history since they switched their schedule format to five games series. They did win the final two games of that series and got the day off on Tuesday as they travel to play the Tennessee Smokies and look to start another streak. MIRACLE MATTERS Bradenton 7, Fort Myers 2 (completion of game suspended on 5/20) Box Score After rains moved in on Monday causing a suspension of play, Fort Myers and Bradenton recommenced the action in the top of the fourth inning at 11:00 in the morning on Tuesday. To that point the Marauders had taken a 3-1 lead against Miracle starter Jhoan Duran who finished 3 2/3 innings. He allowed those runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three and was responsible for two runners on base when the game resumed with Calvin Faucher on the mound. He delivered 3 1/3 scoreless innings, getting them through the seventh by allowing just two hits and striking out five. When he was done the game was still in reach and the Fort Myers offense did manage to push a run across to make it 3-2, but it was not to be. Bradenton put up four runs in the eighth against Ricky Ramirez thanks to a bases- clearing double being followed by an RBI single. Ramirez wouldn’t allow another run and finished the game with a scoreless ninth, striking out three total hitters. The first run of the game for the Miracle came on a Lewin Diaz home run, his eighth of the year and continues a hot stretch that has vaulted him into the Florida State League lead in OPS at .933 (they should probably promote him
  13. Keep reading to find out how all of your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects performed on Tuesday! TRANSACTIONS Stephen Gonsalves was activated from the injured list and made the start for Rochester. Nick Gordon also was activated for the Red Wings and was back atop their batting order on the lineup card. RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo 5, Rochester 0 Box Score Left-handed starter Stephen Gonsalves made his much anticipated 2019 debut for the Red Wings on Tuesday night, but he definitely looked rusty. He only allowed one run but was able to finish only two innings as he walked five while striking out two as just 23 of his 51 pitches went for strikes (45%). D.J. Baxendale was the first man up in relief and delivered three perfect innings. 25 of his 36 pitches went for strikes (69%) as he switched up the mojo on the Bisons and struck out four. Zack Weiss went the next two frames and also struck out four, but a double-steal from Buffalo was followed by a wild-pitch in the sixth to put them up 2-0. Trevor Hildenberger was brought in for his second appearance back in Triple-A in the eighth and delivered a one-two-three inning, striking out two. But the ninth didn’t go nearly that well. He finished the game for the Red Wings but in the process allowed three runs on five hits for the final score of 5-0. He finished with three K’s. While the Bisons only outhit the home team 7-6, they were able to cash in some of their opportunities by going 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position compared to the Red Wings 0-for-10 effort. Randy Cesar (2-for-3, 2B) and Jordany Valdespin (2-for-3, BB) each had two hits and Zander Wiel also added a double. Nick Gordon went 0-for-5 in his return from the injured list. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled day off Pensacola lost their first series of the season against the Mobile BayBears over the weekend but that can’t overshadow one of the best starts in Southern League history since they switched their schedule format to five games series. They did win the final two games of that series and got the day off on Tuesday as they travel to play the Tennessee Smokies and look to start another streak. MIRACLE MATTERS Bradenton 7, Fort Myers 2 (completion of game suspended on 5/20) Box Score After rains moved in on Monday causing a suspension of play, Fort Myers and Bradenton recommenced the action in the top of the fourth inning at 11:00 in the morning on Tuesday. To that point the Marauders had taken a 3-1 lead against Miracle starter Jhoan Duran who finished 3 2/3 innings. He allowed those runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three and was responsible for two runners on base when the game resumed with Calvin Faucher on the mound. He delivered 3 1/3 scoreless innings, getting them through the seventh by allowing just two hits and striking out five. When he was done the game was still in reach and the Fort Myers offense did manage to push a run across to make it 3-2, but it was not to be. Bradenton put up four runs in the eighth against Ricky Ramirez thanks to a bases- clearing double being followed by an RBI single. Ramirez wouldn’t allow another run and finished the game with a scoreless ninth, striking out three total hitters. The first run of the game for the Miracle came on a Lewin Diaz home run, his eighth of the year and continues a hot stretch that has vaulted him into the Florida State League lead in OPS at .933 (they should probably promote him
  14. The Red Wings had the day off and announced that one of the Twins top pitching prospects will be making his first start of the season on Tuesday. The Blue Wahoos got another solid start and some key hits. A Miracle slugger continued to blast baseballs, though rain suspended their game in the fourth inning. Cedar Rapids had a well-played game with some strong pitching after getting an early lead.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS While not officially making the transaction (that will come on Tuesday), Rochester announced that LHP Stephen Gonsalves will make the start for the Red Wings on Tuesday.After his one game for the Red Wings, infielder Victor Tademo was sent back to extended spring training.RHP Griffin Jax was placed on the injured list for Pensacola, and RHP Williams Ramirez was activated.1B Gabe Snyder was activated from Cedar Rapids’ temporary inactive list with 1B Albee Weiss sent back to EST.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score Stephen Gonsalves will make his first start of the season on Tuesday for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 2 Box Score The Blue Wahoos got some nice pitching and some big hits and pulled out a 4-2 win. Randy Dobnak started and threw the first five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out seven without walking a batter. Tyler Jay got the win. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Williams Ramirez, fresh off the IL, struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Cody Stashak came on for the ninth and recorded his fourth save. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two batters. Mitchell Kranson got Pensacola on the board first. He singled in Travis Blankenhorn in the first inning. Mobile got on the board with a solo homer in the top of the second inning, but Ernie De La Trinidad responded in the bottom of the inning with his second of the season to reclaim the lead. In the fourth inning, another solo homer off of Dobnak tied the score at two. In the sixth inning, Joe Cronin gave the team a lead with an RBI single. It was followed directly by another RBI single from De La Trinidad. Cronin and De La Trinidad were each 2-for-3. Kranson went 2-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS (Game suspended in 4th inning) Ft. Myers, Bradenton Box Score This game was suspended in the fourth inning with the Miracle down 3-1. Much more will be written about this game when it concludes on Tuesday morning as part of a doubleheader. Here are two or three quick notes: First, Jhoan Duran started and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. When the game was suspended, there were still two runners on base. Second, Lewin Diaz stayed hot. He hit a first-inning home run, his eighth of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 0 Box Score The Kernels scored four runs in the first inning. Gilberto Celestino doubled in a run then scored on a Gabe Snyder single. Gabriel Maciel then drove in two more runs with another single. Celestino drove in another run with a single in the second inning. Luis Rijo was the beneficiary of the early offense and did a nice job of holding that lead. Rijo, who came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, threw five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out six. Moises Gomez and Carlos Suniaga each threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. They both struck out four batters. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-5 in the game. He had an RBI triple in the eighth inning to round out the Kernels scoring. Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 with a walk. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ernie De La Trinidad, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th (his line incomplete, will update tomorrow) #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - making first start on Tuesday #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB, R #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (season debut) Pensacola - No Game Scheduled. Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 10:00 a.m. CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (1-1, 5.91 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  15. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS While not officially making the transaction (that will come on Tuesday), Rochester announced that LHP Stephen Gonsalves will make the start for the Red Wings on Tuesday. After his one game for the Red Wings, infielder Victor Tademo was sent back to extended spring training. RHP Griffin Jax was placed on the injured list for Pensacola, and RHP Williams Ramirez was activated. 1B Gabe Snyder was activated from Cedar Rapids’ temporary inactive list with 1B Albee Weiss sent back to EST. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score Stephen Gonsalves will make his first start of the season on Tuesday for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 2 Box Score The Blue Wahoos got some nice pitching and some big hits and pulled out a 4-2 win. Randy Dobnak started and threw the first five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out seven without walking a batter. Tyler Jay got the win. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Williams Ramirez, fresh off the IL, struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Cody Stashak came on for the ninth and recorded his fourth save. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two batters. Mitchell Kranson got Pensacola on the board first. He singled in Travis Blankenhorn in the first inning. Mobile got on the board with a solo homer in the top of the second inning, but Ernie De La Trinidad responded in the bottom of the inning with his second of the season to reclaim the lead. In the fourth inning, another solo homer off of Dobnak tied the score at two. In the sixth inning, Joe Cronin gave the team a lead with an RBI single. It was followed directly by another RBI single from De La Trinidad. Cronin and De La Trinidad were each 2-for-3. Kranson went 2-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS (Game suspended in 4th inning) Ft. Myers, Bradenton Box Score This game was suspended in the fourth inning with the Miracle down 3-1. Much more will be written about this game when it concludes on Tuesday morning as part of a doubleheader. Here are two or three quick notes: First, Jhoan Duran started and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. When the game was suspended, there were still two runners on base. Second, Lewin Diaz stayed hot. He hit a first-inning home run, his eighth of the season. https://twitter.com/AndrewBern12/status/1130609225162534912 Finally, when the game was delayed, rehabbing LHP Lachlan Wells, Miracle outfielder Aaron Whitefield and Bradenton infielder Robbie Glendinning met with an Australian National team playing in the States. https://twitter.com/PG_Scouting/status/1130642182082314243 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 0 Box Score The Kernels scored four runs in the first inning. Gilberto Celestino doubled in a run then scored on a Gabe Snyder single. Gabriel Maciel then drove in two more runs with another single. Celestino drove in another run with a single in the second inning. Luis Rijo was the beneficiary of the early offense and did a nice job of holding that lead. Rijo, who came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, threw five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out six. Moises Gomez and Carlos Suniaga each threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. They both struck out four batters. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-5 in the game. He had an RBI triple in the eighth inning to round out the Kernels scoring. Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 with a walk. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ernie De La Trinidad, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th (his line incomplete, will update tomorrow) #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - making first start on Tuesday #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB, R #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (season debut) Pensacola - No Game Scheduled. Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 10:00 a.m. CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (1-1, 5.91 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  16. Over the course of the past decade the Minnesota Twins have shown some scouting prowess in their findings down under. From the early stories of Peter Moylan and Liam Hendriks, to a recent hat tip pointed at James Beresford, Australia has produced big leagues in a Twins uniform. Although Todd Van Steensel displayed some nice minor league numbers, he got to Minnesota by way of the St. Paul Saints. The system still has more talent from down under, and one could be on his way north soon. Lewis Thorpe has worked four times in 2019 for Triple-A Rochester. After two very bad outings against the same Lehigh Valley club to start the year, he’s settled in as the pitcher that previously appeared on top 100 prospect lists. Thorpe’s last two outings have seen him work 13.2 IP with a 1.98 ERA and .497 OPS against. He’s fanned 24 batters and walked just one. To call his work dominant would be putting it lightly. As a lefty, Thorpe isn’t the traditional soft-tossing type. This is a guy who can blow the fastball by professional hitters, and his career 10.9 K/9 is plenty indicative of that reality. Since returning from both Tommy John surgery, and then mononucleosis, Lewis has picked up right where he left off. His walk rate hovers around 3.0 BB/9 which is probably a bit higher than you’d like but combatting that with solid hit and strikeout rates make for a strong profile. To date Thorpe has just eight career starts at the Triple-A level. At just 23 years-old, that’s plenty impressive, but it’s also not a seasoned amount that reflects an immediate need for a promotion. Given the volatility at the back end of a starting rotation, we know that a need will arise in Minnesota sooner rather than later. Long term the Twins would like to see Thorpe come up and stick, but a spot start or something to get his feet wet could soon be on the horizon. Over the past year we’ve seen Zack Littell, Kohl Stewart, and Stephen Gonsalves all make their debuts for the Twins. Thorpe trends more heavily towards the highly-touted prospect that Gonsalves resembles and could be handled in a similar fashion. That would mean he’d be destined for a later season role in which he’d stick long term. If the current level of production remains though, it’d be plenty logical for Rocco Baldelli to run him out on a day he simply needs a starter. Back in February I opined that Thorpe was the guy to watch this season. He’s done very little to pump the brakes on that notion and making it a reality in the immediate future continues to become something to keep an eye on. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  17. Today we look at the Rochester Red Wings players and coaching staff. We try to figure out a solid everyday lineup, and discuss the top prospects. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the team or roster, and ask as many questions as you would like. COACHING STAFF Joel Skinner returns to the Red Wings for his second season as their manager. Stu Cliburn returns for his 28th year in the organization and his seventh as the Red Wings pitching coach (fourth in a row). Michael McCarthy enters his second season as the team’s bullpen coach. Former Twins catcher Javier Valentin moves up from Double-A to be hitting coach for the Red Wings. ROSTER Here is a look at the Red Wings Opening Day roster. 17 of these 28 players have spent at least some time in the big leagues. 14 of the players spent at least some time with the Red Wings last year. Nine players are on the 40-man roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and will be updated before their season starts on Thursday. In particular, a couple of players will be placed on the Injured List. HITTERS (13) Catchers: Tomas Telis, Wynston Sawyer Infielders: Wilin Rosario, Adam Rosales, Nick Gordon (IL), Ronald Torreyes, Jordany Valdespin, Randy Cesar Outfielders: Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, John Andreoli, Zander Wiel PITCHERS (15) Starting Pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Justin Nicolino, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Kohl Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves (IL) Relief Pitchers: Andrew Vasquez, Austin Adams, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Eades, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero. DJ Baxendale (IL), Zack Weiss (IL) POTENTIAL LINEUP 3B - Ronald Torreyes LF - Brent Rooker CF - LaMonte Wade SS - Adam Rosales 1B - Zander Wiel RF - Luke Raley DH - Wilin Rosario C - Tomas Telis 2B - Jordany Valdespin TOP PROSPECTS Brent Rooker (Twins Daily #6 Prospect) - Powerful slugger hit 32 doubles and 22 homers in 2018 in Chattanooga. He received his first big league spring training invitation this year and could be in line to make his major league debut. Nick Gordon (Twins Daily #11 Prospect) - Gordon made his AAA debut in 2018s second half and struggled, but he still is one to watch and should make his major league debut in 2019. Stephen Gonsalves (Twins Daily #12 Prospect) - Gonsalves has long been one of the best Twins pitching prospects. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and struggled with his control. Control and command, along with a couple more ticks of velocity, and Gonsalves should help the Twins in 2019. Zack Littell (Twins Daily #17 Prospect) - Littell debuted in 2018 with the Twins as well and also struggled. But he has done well in the upper levels of the minors the last two years and will likely get several more opportunities in 2019. LaMonte Wade (Twins Daily #18 Prospect) - Like Gordon, Wade made his AAA debut in 2019 and things didn’t come easy. However, he maintained his strong plate discipline and approach and continued to increase his power output. Another player who should make his debut with the Twins in 2019. Kohl Stewart - The 2013 first-round pick make his big league debut in August last year after and showed well for himself, especially against the Tigers. Andrew Vasquez - Vasquez began 2018 in Ft. Myers where he pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in June. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga after that game and spent a little over a month there. He moved up to Rochester for one week and then received a promotion to the big league on September 1st. He posted 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the minors and then seven strikeouts in five innings for the Twins. Luke Raley - Raley came to the Twins at the deadline last year from the Dodgers as part of the Brian Dozier trade. A big, strong guy, Raley has a lot of power potential. Combined at AA in 2018, Raley hit .275/.350/.471 (.821) with 19 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. He was a non-roster invitation to spring training. Zander Wiel - Quietly, the former Vanderbilt star had a terrific season in 2018. He spent the majority of the year at Chattanooga before ending the season with the Red Wings. In the second-to-last game of the year, Wiel hit a walk-off homer for the Red Wings. STORIES TO WATCH The Twins are starting the season with just 11 pitchers. At some point in a couple of weeks, they are likely to add a pitcher, unless one of the Injured List relievers (Addison Reed, Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill) is ready. Nick Gordon, second base or shortstop? That story will likely continue in 2019, and in playing with Adam Rosales and Ronald Torreyes, he can pick their brain on the subject. The Twins have their five-man starting rotation to start the season. There is certainly depth at AAA. Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Chase De Jong all made starts for the Twins last year (and hopefully made some adjustments). Justin Nicolino has made 33 big-league starts (and 17 relief appearances) as well. Lewis Thorpe is the one without the big-league service time, but he may have the most potential. Please feel free to discuss this roster. Ask lots of questions and check back often. What stories will you be following?
  18. The 2018 Red Wings went 64-76 and finished tied for fourth place in the International League’s North division. In 2019, Joel Skinner will be tasked with leading a young pitching staff along with a mix of veteran infielders and young outfielders. Of course, more important than the Red Wings record is helping those prospects prepare to be more ready for the big leagues when called upon.Today we look at the Rochester Red Wings players and coaching staff. We try to figure out a solid everyday lineup, and discuss the top prospects. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the team or roster, and ask as many questions as you would like. COACHING STAFF Joel Skinner returns to the Red Wings for his second season as their manager. Stu Cliburn returns for his 28th year in the organization and his seventh as the Red Wings pitching coach (fourth in a row). Michael McCarthy enters his second season as the team’s bullpen coach. Former Twins catcher Javier Valentin moves up from Double-A to be hitting coach for the Red Wings. ROSTER Here is a look at the Red Wings Opening Day roster. 17 of these 28 players have spent at least some time in the big leagues. 14 of the players spent at least some time with the Red Wings last year. Nine players are on the 40-man roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and will be updated before their season starts on Thursday. In particular, a couple of players will be placed on the Injured List. HITTERS (13) Catchers: Tomas Telis, Wynston Sawyer Infielders: Wilin Rosario, Adam Rosales, Nick Gordon (IL), Ronald Torreyes, Jordany Valdespin, Randy Cesar Outfielders: Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, John Andreoli, Zander Wiel PITCHERS (15) Starting Pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Justin Nicolino, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Kohl Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves (IL) Relief Pitchers: Andrew Vasquez, Austin Adams, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Eades, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero. DJ Baxendale (IL), Zack Weiss (IL) POTENTIAL LINEUP 3B - Ronald Torreyes LF - Brent Rooker CF - LaMonte Wade SS - Adam Rosales 1B - Zander Wiel RF - Luke Raley DH - Wilin Rosario C - Tomas Telis 2B - Jordany Valdespin TOP PROSPECTS Brent Rooker (Twins Daily #6 Prospect) - Powerful slugger hit 32 doubles and 22 homers in 2018 in Chattanooga. He received his first big league spring training invitation this year and could be in line to make his major league debut.Nick Gordon (Twins Daily #11 Prospect) - Gordon made his AAA debut in 2018s second half and struggled, but he still is one to watch and should make his major league debut in 2019.Stephen Gonsalves (Twins Daily #12 Prospect) - Gonsalves has long been one of the best Twins pitching prospects. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and struggled with his control. Control and command, along with a couple more ticks of velocity, and Gonsalves should help the Twins in 2019.Zack Littell (Twins Daily #17 Prospect) - Littell debuted in 2018 with the Twins as well and also struggled. But he has done well in the upper levels of the minors the last two years and will likely get several more opportunities in 2019.LaMonte Wade (Twins Daily #18 Prospect) - Like Gordon, Wade made his AAA debut in 2019 and things didn’t come easy. However, he maintained his strong plate discipline and approach and continued to increase his power output. Another player who should make his debut with the Twins in 2019.Kohl Stewart - The 2013 first-round pick make his big league debut in August last year after and showed well for himself, especially against the Tigers.Andrew Vasquez - Vasquez began 2018 in Ft. Myers where he pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in June. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga after that game and spent a little over a month there. He moved up to Rochester for one week and then received a promotion to the big league on September 1st. He posted 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the minors and then seven strikeouts in five innings for the Twins.Luke Raley - Raley came to the Twins at the deadline last year from the Dodgers as part of the Brian Dozier trade. A big, strong guy, Raley has a lot of power potential. Combined at AA in 2018, Raley hit .275/.350/.471 (.821) with 19 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. He was a non-roster invitation to spring training.Zander Wiel - Quietly, the former Vanderbilt star had a terrific season in 2018. He spent the majority of the year at Chattanooga before ending the season with the Red Wings. In the second-to-last game of the year, Wiel hit a walk-off homer for the Red Wings.STORIES TO WATCHThe Twins are starting the season with just 11 pitchers. At some point in a couple of weeks, they are likely to add a pitcher, unless one of the Injured List relievers (Addison Reed, Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill) is ready.Nick Gordon, second base or shortstop? That story will likely continue in 2019, and in playing with Adam Rosales and Ronald Torreyes, he can pick their brain on the subject.The Twins have their five-man starting rotation to start the season. There is certainly depth at AAA. Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Chase De Jong all made starts for the Twins last year (and hopefully made some adjustments). Justin Nicolino has made 33 big-league starts (and 17 relief appearances) as well. Lewis Thorpe is the one without the big-league service time, but he may have the most potential.Please feel free to discuss this roster. Ask lots of questions and check back often. What stories will you be following? Click here to view the article
  19. https://twitter.com/DSBerner2288/status/1101214854323601409 Last year, the Twins signed players late into the spring as free agents were still available. Last week the club added Marwin Gonzalez, which might have seemed like a stretch at the beginning of the off-season. Instead, he was available and fell into the Twins laps. This is a phrase that has been thrown out multiple times by the front office. So… could a pitcher fall into the team’s lap? Dallas Keuchel was the top free agent starter on the market, and he has yet to sign. As a 31-year old, he is coming off a year where he posted a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 204.2 innings. It seems logical that plenty of teams would be interested in his services. My guess is he ends up back in Houston to solidify their rotation. That being said, it sounds like he was good friends with Gonzales during their time in Houston. Maybe a reunion could be in the works. The Minneapolis Star Tribune doesn’t believe Keuchel will be coming to Minnesota. It seems most likely for the team to start the season with the current pitchers on the roster. https://twitter.com/MNTwinpinions/status/1101204265769582592 Gio Gonzalez does little to excite me as a free agent. Last year as a 32-year old, he posted a 4.21 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in 171.0 innings. He could be a nice veteran presence at the back of the rotation, but I’d rather give those innings to a younger arm. Minnesota will start the year with Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Michael Pineda, and Jake Odorizzi occupying the top four spots in the rotation. Innings that could be allotted to Gonzalez should go to the likes of Martin Perez, Adalberto Mejia, Kohl Stewart, and Stephen Gonsalves. https://twitter.com/matthew_btwins/status/1101203489651224576 Even with the strong reports about Stephen Gonsalves, I doubt there is any way he makes the team out of spring training. The early weeks of the season are full of extra off-days and Minnesota will likely have some weather delays, sine the Home Opener is scheduled before the calendar turns to April. With that in mind, the club won’t need a fifth starter near the beginning of the year. This allows the team to carry an extra bullpen arm or an extra bat for the bench. Without an injury to one of the top starters, there is almost no chance Gonsalves breaks camp with the club. He will start the year in Rochester and be only a phone call away. https://twitter.com/ERolfPleiss/status/1101202433135513601 I would love to buy into all of the Byron Buxton spring training hype. Unfortunately, spring training numbers mean little for the regular season. It’s great for his confidence to be finding consistent success, but fans haven’t seen him put it all together at the big-league level. Until he can do it consistently with the Twins, there will be a lot of fans that wonder if the Twins made the right choice with Buxton. However, many fans were disappointed with Joe Mauer for the majority of his career and he could end up being a Hall of Fame player. Earlier this off-season, I identified Buxton’s emergence as one of the keys to 2019. I still believe that to be true. He could end up being an All-Star. He could end up struggling. It seems more likely that he falls somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. https://twitter.com/PandaPete21/status/1101143745968381952 This question took me the longest because of all of the options. Some of the options that popped into my head were Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, Justin Morneau’s concussions, and Joe Mauer’s concussions. All three of these injuries deprived Twins Territory of some tremendous years of Hall of Fame caliber baseball. My answer might be a little off the beaten path, but I am going to say Francisco Liriano’s Tommy John surgery in 2006. I fully believe the Twins could have won the World Series that season had Liriano stayed healthy. No team was going to beat Liriano and Johan Santana multiple times in the same series. It might have been one of the most dominant one-two punches in playoff history. I think Liriano’s arm injury deprived the Twins organization of their third World Series title. https://twitter.com/BrianHohlen/status/1101211556828856321 I think the Twins have made it clear this off-season. They don’t want to be known as the club that battles their tails off. They want to hit home runs and they want to hit a lot of home runs. Minnesota’s 2019 roster is going to hit the ball over the fence and the club is going to strike out a lot. This might be good and it might be bad, but it’s a far cry from the Nick Punto days back in the Metrodome. Thanks to all of those that submitted questions this week. Leave a COMMENT with your own answers to all of these questions.
  20. Although it’s Series 1 that kicks off a new year of baseball card collection each season, it’s the early year release of Heritage that is often seen as the first big product. Heritage carries a promise of being a throwback to yesteryear, this time 1970 specifically. Producing some of the most desired rookie cards, and short prints in all the collecting landscape, this product is one Topps knows you won’t want to miss. Much like Series 1, Heritage isn’t designed as a massive hit factory. The biggest pulls in this product have more to do with photo variations and differing parallels. Although Topps has changed to define what each different type of card is on the reverse side in recent years, slow rolling through packs to spot differences helps to add appeal to this set. For the Minnesota Twins specifically, there’s a lot to like in 2019. Base Set- There are 13 different players in the Twins base set, and they are delivered on 11 different cards. Heritage represents the first time C.J. Cron, Nelson Cruz, and Jonathan Schoop will be in Minnesota uniforms. Although Kohl Stewart had his first rookie card in Series 1, both Willians Astudillo and Stephen Gonsalves will make their Topps rookie debut on a three-person card joining Stewart. Continuing with the tradition of short printed base cards, Minnesota has two entrants in the 100-card grouping. Schoop’s first Minnesota card is short printed, while he’s joined by Jose Berrios. Inserts- A set utilizing a throwback theme, Heritage has remained consistent with many of the insert offerings transferring from year to year. Jim Perry and Harmon Killebrew are paired with current stars on three different Then & Now cards, while Rod Carew is included in the Baseball Flashback set. Sitting somewhere in between an insert and a hit, Joe Mauer is offered on a 1970 Poster Boxloader. Hits- For Twins fans looking at the big chase, there’s a bit of a letdown here. Both Schoop and Berrios are in the new Silver Metal run, which are serial numbered to just 70 copies. Eddie Rosario joins the duo as the three Minnesota offerings among the base mini set, all serial numbered to 100. The crown jewel of Heritage has always been the Real One autographs, and this is where fans may have wished for more. Bert Blyleven and Rod Carew are the only single signed cards. The former isn’t a hobby darling, and the latter is hitting collecting fatigue with autographs in virtually every product currently produced. Branching out a bit to a bit tougher pulls, there are two separate cards that should turn out nicely. A dual Real One autograph features Carew and Rosario together, hand numbering, and likely a very small print run. There’s also a Real One triple autograph that features Byron Buxton, Torii Hunter, and Carew. Buxton has had Real One autos recently in Heritage, but Hunter getting back into the game is something of a nice development. Relics will remain aplenty in Heritage and the Twins are represented there as well. From the 1970 mint coin cards to the postage stamp offerings, you’ll find plenty of throwback flavor. Cut up pieces of Eddie Rosario’s game worn jersey can also be expected as part of the Clubhouse Collection relics. All in all, 2019 Topps Heritage is shaping up to be a fun set once again. The 1970 design won’t be a favorite for all, but this should be a fun set to build. The autograph portion of the program is a bit of a letdown for Twins fans, but there’s enough meat here to draw in other excitement. Look for the product in both hobby stores and on retail shelves February 27. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  21. Right now, the Minnesota Twins have a tentative five-man starting rotation penciled in for 2019. Martin Perez was signed as a free agent to round out the group, and Michael Pineda will pitch for the first time in a Twins uniform. No matter how set the plan may be today however, there’s no denying a wrench will soon be thrown into it. How things are handled from there are worth speculating about. The reality for the Twins is that they’ve burned through pitchers in recent seasons. Both in the rotation and the bullpen, no number of fresh arms have been enough. The good part of this equation is that depth is being stockpiled on both fronts and that gives us something to look at. While there’s no argument against the fact that the front office could’ve added more arm talent this winter, we’re now in a spot to consider what is readily available to them. During the 2018 season players like Kohl Stewart, Fernando Romero, and Stephen Gonsalves all got their shot. Zack Littell showed up in the big leagues, and some higher tier prospects made significant strides on the farm. In 2019 though, there’s just one guy I’m keying in on, and he comes from the Land Down Under. Lewis Thorpe missed two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery and then illness. Since his return though, he’s done nothing but vault up prospect rankings and lay waster to opposing hitters. At 22 last season, he reached Triple-A for the first time in his career. Through four rotation turns Thorpe posted a 3.32 ERA along with a 10.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. As a lefty, he’s not the soft-tossing crafty type, with an ability to put the ball by opposing hitters. The strikeout stuff has been there throughout his whole career, as evidenced by a 10.7 K/9 across 328.1 minor league IP. Recently turning 23, Thorpe should factor into the Rochester rotation from day one. Fernando Romero looks like he’ll work in Minnesota as a reliever and Adalberto Mejia needs to make the big-league roster being out of options. Those developments put Thorpe in a group with guys like Gonsalves and Stewart. Everyone at Triple-A will have some level of prospect status and be looked upon as depth at some point during 2019. For Thorpe though, he could certainly find himself creating distance from the pack. It seems that while there are top pitching prospects that get focus each season, like Romero and Gonsalves last year, there’s guys that pop up and take the reigns like Littell did early. I’m not sure how the season will go for any of the guys pitching for the Red Wings, but I’d bet against Thorpe being held down. If the capability he has shown over the past two seasons is on display early, he could push for big league time soon. Baldelli’s starting rotation could use some help on the back end, and despite Dallas Keuchel being able to provide that, he doesn’t seem to be on Minnesota’s radar. The emergence, and sustainability of an internal talent would be a great reality, and the Aussie has as good of a shot as anyone to provide that. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  22. The 2018 season was a turbulent one for the Minnesota Twins, and for some of their heralded upcoming talents as well. Two prospects who ranked among our top five a year ago now find themselves outside of the top ten. But that's not necessarily damning in a robust system that shows well here in the 11 through 15 range.15. Yunior Severino, 2B Age: 19 (DOB: 10/3/99) 2018 Stats (Rookie): 218 PA, .263/.321/.424, 8 HR, 28 RBI ETA: 2022 2018 Ranking: 18 It feels like a lifetime ago that the Atlanta Braves were handed severe sanctions for circumventing MLB's international signing rules, with GM John Coppolella banned for life and nine of the organization's signings released back into free agency. (Especially since Atlanta's internal rebuild coalesced so beautifully anyway in 2018.) But it was just last offseason that the Twins were able to capitalize and scoop up Severino, who enjoyed a solid rookie-level debut with his new franchise. In 49 games at Elizabethton, Severino posted a .745 OPS that was nearly identical to the Appalachian League average (.746). He did so as an 18-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder, in a setting where the average player was two years older. His eight home runs tied for the league lead among second basemen. Already closing in on 200 pounds as a teenager, Severino doesn't have much speed to speak of (he hasn't stolen a base in 107 games as a pro) and will probably end up at a corner spot defensively, so his bat will probably have to carry him. But there's plenty of potential in that department. "He’s like Alex Kirilloff—his swing stands out from the others,” VP for player personnel Mike Radcliff told Baseball America when the Twins signed Severino. Not a bad comp. 14. Ben Rortvedt, C Age: 21 (DOB: 9/25/97) 2018 Stats (A-/A+): 353 PA, .262/.331/.379, 5 HR, 43 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: 16 Since being drafted by the Twins as a second-rounder in 2016, Rortvedt's offensive game has lagged behind his relatively advanced defense. In that scope, his 2018 season has to be viewed as a success; between two levels of A-ball, the lefty-swinging Wisconsin native posted a .710 OPS, improving by more than 100 points on 2017's underwhelming mark (.599) at Cedar Rapids. He certainly wasn't dominant at the plate following his midseason promotion to Fort Myers, but his approach was exemplary, with a 0.72 BB/K ratio that ranked second-best among Florida State League catchers with 100+ PA. At this point we're just waiting for a bit more power to emerge, which seems feasible as he keeps growing and adding strength. He totaled four home runs with the Miracle after hitting one in Cedar Rapids, the last a grand slam in late-August as part of a six-RBI outburst. As a receiver, Rortvedt draws high marks. His excellent arm continues to control opposing run games, as he threw out 37% of base stealers last year following 2017's 36%. He figures to compete for a spot at Double-A this spring, but will have to fend off the next guy on this list. 13. Ryan Jeffers, C Age: 21 (DOB: 6/3/97) 2018 Stats (Rookie/A-): 284 PA, .344/.444/.502, 7 HR, 33 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: N/A I noted in recapping last year's list that while the system was generally balanced, "the notable area of concern is catcher." Rortvedt and Mitch Garver were the position's only representatives in the Top 20, and Garver would soon lose his prospect eligibility. So Jeffers immediately took on a great deal of importance when the Twins drafted him out UNC Wilmington in the second round, 59th overall, last June. He was the fourth catcher to come off the board, and the second collegiate backstop. Answering the call, Jeffers arrived with a thunderous debut in pro ball. Although you'd generally expect a successful college hitter (Jeffers put up a 1.095 OPS with 16 homers in his final season at Wilmington) to catch on quickly in the low minors, Jeffers surpassed all expectations offensively, slashing a ridiculous .422/.543/.578 in 29 games at Elizabethton before moving up to Low-A, where he finished at .288/.361/.446 in 36 contests. His bat looks legit. The key question is whether he'll stick at catcher. He's a big guy (6'4", 228) with a good arm (threw out five of 12 runners last year) but there are many raw aspects of his game behind the plate. For his part, he has no intentions of moving: "“The Twins haven’t even asked me to play anything else,” he told the Pioneer Press. “For me, that’s a good sign. They trust me behind the plate and want me to stick there. I want to stick back behind the plate. I don’t really want to play any other position.” Jeffers and Rortvedt are two sides of the same coin, inspiring plenty of confidence in one dimension with less polish in the other. They're at roughly the same stage of development. It's tough to say at this point which one's more likely to emerge, but the Twins are much better off for having both of them in the system. 12. Nick Gordon, SS Age: 23 (DOB: 10/24/95) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 591 PA, 248/.298/.355, 7 HR, 49 RBI ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 3 In the plot line of Gordon's career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was on May 22nd, 2018, when he was promoted to Triple-A and suddenly everything began to fall apart. Gordon had torn it up in Chattanooga over the first two months, slashing .333/.381/.525 to back up his preseason #3 ranking on Twins Daily's prospect list, but at Rochester his limitations took center-stage. Gordon's offensive potential was always based more on projection than production. That he was able to remain a regular fixture in national prospect rankings despite never cracking a .750 OPS through four years speaks to the prestige of his pedigree. In Triple-A, the lack of power and patience caused him to tank. He endured multiple long hitless stretches. In his final 40 games he batted .166 with three extra-base hits in 170 plate appearances. Even with the context that a 22-year-old Gordon was young for the International League, it was tough to find silver linings. Meanwhile, the questions about his viability at shortstop gained more weight, as Gordon ceded a higher percentage of playing time than ever before – nearly one out of every three starts – to second base. An eventual move across the bag was generally assumed, given his lack of standout arm strength, but if Gordon can't play short in the majors his need to add offense is magnified. To that end, Gordon is said to be focused on gaining weight (and strength) this offseason. The Star Tribune reports that he's spent significant time at the team's facility in Fort Myers. If it all comes together at the plate, he'll have no trouble providing value at either middle-infield spot. Added to the 40-man roster in November, his options clock will start ticking this season. 11. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 7/8/94) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 120.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 120/65 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 4 In the plot line of Gonsalves' career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was August 20th, 2018, when he arrived in the majors following an unconscious stretch at Triple-A and delivered the first in a series of clunkers. Over his first four MLB starts, every flaw in the left-hander's game was exploited. Batters teed off on his low-velo arsenal, batting .414 and pushing across 16 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. He constantly struggled to find the zone, with 13 walks and a 57% strike rate. He threw 287 pitches and induced 17 swings and misses (6%). To his credit, Gonsalves turned things around and finished on a strong note, allowing two earned runs and four hits over 12 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, all following an "opener." During this stretch his strengths were more visible – namely a long-standing ability to limit hard contact – but he still was wild and unable to miss bats, reminding us of the tightrope he walks with limited stuff. Despite his impeccable numbers throughout the minors, which were as good as ever as he climbed past the top rung, it was always difficult for analysts to envision Gonsalves as an overpowering major-league starter. In August and September, we saw why. Gordon and Gonsalves in 2018 were both prime examples of weaknesses being exposed at the highest levels. But they're also both under 25, with ample development time ahead of them before options run out. It's important to keep in mind the positive attributes that earned each a spot in the top five a year ago. At least each one now has a precise idea of what needs improvement. In the words of Henry Ford: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP 18. LaMonte Wade, OF 17. Zack Littell, RHP 16. Gilberto Celestino, OF Click here to view the article
  23. 15. Yunior Severino, 2B Age: 19 (DOB: 10/3/99) 2018 Stats (Rookie): 218 PA, .263/.321/.424, 8 HR, 28 RBI ETA: 2022 2018 Ranking: 18 It feels like a lifetime ago that the Atlanta Braves were handed severe sanctions for circumventing MLB's international signing rules, with GM John Coppolella banned for life and nine of the organization's signings released back into free agency. (Especially since Atlanta's internal rebuild coalesced so beautifully anyway in 2018.) But it was just last offseason that the Twins were able to capitalize and scoop up Severino, who enjoyed a solid rookie-level debut with his new franchise. In 49 games at Elizabethton, Severino posted a .745 OPS that was nearly identical to the Appalachian League average (.746). He did so as an 18-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder, in a setting where the average player was two years older. His eight home runs tied for the league lead among second basemen. Already closing in on 200 pounds as a teenager, Severino doesn't have much speed to speak of (he hasn't stolen a base in 107 games as a pro) and will probably end up at a corner spot defensively, so his bat will probably have to carry him. But there's plenty of potential in that department. "He’s like Alex Kirilloff—his swing stands out from the others,” VP for player personnel Mike Radcliff told Baseball America when the Twins signed Severino. Not a bad comp. 14. Ben Rortvedt, C Age: 21 (DOB: 9/25/97) 2018 Stats (A-/A+): 353 PA, .262/.331/.379, 5 HR, 43 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: 16 Since being drafted by the Twins as a second-rounder in 2016, Rortvedt's offensive game has lagged behind his relatively advanced defense. In that scope, his 2018 season has to be viewed as a success; between two levels of A-ball, the lefty-swinging Wisconsin native posted a .710 OPS, improving by more than 100 points on 2017's underwhelming mark (.599) at Cedar Rapids. He certainly wasn't dominant at the plate following his midseason promotion to Fort Myers, but his approach was exemplary, with a 0.72 BB/K ratio that ranked second-best among Florida State League catchers with 100+ PA. At this point we're just waiting for a bit more power to emerge, which seems feasible as he keeps growing and adding strength. He totaled four home runs with the Miracle after hitting one in Cedar Rapids, the last a grand slam in late-August as part of a six-RBI outburst. As a receiver, Rortvedt draws high marks. His excellent arm continues to control opposing run games, as he threw out 37% of base stealers last year following 2017's 36%. He figures to compete for a spot at Double-A this spring, but will have to fend off the next guy on this list. 13. Ryan Jeffers, C Age: 21 (DOB: 6/3/97) 2018 Stats (Rookie/A-): 284 PA, .344/.444/.502, 7 HR, 33 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: N/A I noted in recapping last year's list that while the system was generally balanced, "the notable area of concern is catcher." Rortvedt and Mitch Garver were the position's only representatives in the Top 20, and Garver would soon lose his prospect eligibility. So Jeffers immediately took on a great deal of importance when the Twins drafted him out UNC Wilmington in the second round, 59th overall, last June. He was the fourth catcher to come off the board, and the second collegiate backstop. Answering the call, Jeffers arrived with a thunderous debut in pro ball. Although you'd generally expect a successful college hitter (Jeffers put up a 1.095 OPS with 16 homers in his final season at Wilmington) to catch on quickly in the low minors, Jeffers surpassed all expectations offensively, slashing a ridiculous .422/.543/.578 in 29 games at Elizabethton before moving up to Low-A, where he finished at .288/.361/.446 in 36 contests. His bat looks legit. The key question is whether he'll stick at catcher. He's a big guy (6'4", 228) with a good arm (threw out five of 12 runners last year) but there are many raw aspects of his game behind the plate. For his part, he has no intentions of moving: "“The Twins haven’t even asked me to play anything else,” he told the Pioneer Press. “For me, that’s a good sign. They trust me behind the plate and want me to stick there. I want to stick back behind the plate. I don’t really want to play any other position.” Jeffers and Rortvedt are two sides of the same coin, inspiring plenty of confidence in one dimension with less polish in the other. They're at roughly the same stage of development. It's tough to say at this point which one's more likely to emerge, but the Twins are much better off for having both of them in the system. 12. Nick Gordon, SS Age: 23 (DOB: 10/24/95) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 591 PA, 248/.298/.355, 7 HR, 49 RBI ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 3 In the plot line of Gordon's career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was on May 22nd, 2018, when he was promoted to Triple-A and suddenly everything began to fall apart. Gordon had torn it up in Chattanooga over the first two months, slashing .333/.381/.525 to back up his preseason #3 ranking on Twins Daily's prospect list, but at Rochester his limitations took center-stage. Gordon's offensive potential was always based more on projection than production. That he was able to remain a regular fixture in national prospect rankings despite never cracking a .750 OPS through four years speaks to the prestige of his pedigree. In Triple-A, the lack of power and patience caused him to tank. He endured multiple long hitless stretches. In his final 40 games he batted .166 with three extra-base hits in 170 plate appearances. Even with the context that a 22-year-old Gordon was young for the International League, it was tough to find silver linings. Meanwhile, the questions about his viability at shortstop gained more weight, as Gordon ceded a higher percentage of playing time than ever before – nearly one out of every three starts – to second base. An eventual move across the bag was generally assumed, given his lack of standout arm strength, but if Gordon can't play short in the majors his need to add offense is magnified. To that end, Gordon is said to be focused on gaining weight (and strength) this offseason. The Star Tribune reports that he's spent significant time at the team's facility in Fort Myers. If it all comes together at the plate, he'll have no trouble providing value at either middle-infield spot. Added to the 40-man roster in November, his options clock will start ticking this season. 11. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 7/8/94) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 120.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 120/65 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 4 In the plot line of Gonsalves' career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was August 20th, 2018, when he arrived in the majors following an unconscious stretch at Triple-A and delivered the first in a series of clunkers. Over his first four MLB starts, every flaw in the left-hander's game was exploited. Batters teed off on his low-velo arsenal, batting .414 and pushing across 16 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. He constantly struggled to find the zone, with 13 walks and a 57% strike rate. He threw 287 pitches and induced 17 swings and misses (6%). To his credit, Gonsalves turned things around and finished on a strong note, allowing two earned runs and four hits over 12 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, all following an "opener." During this stretch his strengths were more visible – namely a long-standing ability to limit hard contact – but he still was wild and unable to miss bats, reminding us of the tightrope he walks with limited stuff. Despite his impeccable numbers throughout the minors, which were as good as ever as he climbed past the top rung, it was always difficult for analysts to envision Gonsalves as an overpowering major-league starter. In August and September, we saw why. Gordon and Gonsalves in 2018 were both prime examples of weaknesses being exposed at the highest levels. But they're also both under 25, with ample development time ahead of them before options run out. It's important to keep in mind the positive attributes that earned each a spot in the top five a year ago. At least each one now has a precise idea of what needs improvement. In the words of Henry Ford: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP 18. LaMonte Wade, OF 17. Zack Littell, RHP 16. Gilberto Celestino, OF
  24. In his final three appearances for the Twins in 2018 – all coming in relief of an "opener" – Gonsalves threw 12 1/3 innings, faced 50 batters, and allowed four hits. All singles. That's a .098 batting average and a .098 slugging percentage. While it was a small sample, and more than offset by the .414 AVG and .621 SLG he allowed in his first four starts, this unhittable stretch was still noteworthy. It's noteworthy because it mirrors the formula that brought Gonsalves immense success at every level of the minors. The left-hander has a fairly rare strength working in his favor, and it was on display during an otherwise rough MLB debut: He is very, very hard to square up. And while other aspects of his game may need a lot of work, that's not a bad foundation. *** It's important to keep this in mind: Gonsalves has lots of development ahead of him yet. What we saw in 2018 was (hopefully) not the finished product. He's still only 24 and has two options remaining, so through next year, the Twins can shuttle him to Triple-A as needed to work with Rochester pitching coach Stu Cliburn on the flaws that are holding back his game. In many ways, Gonsalves is the prototype for a pitcher who takes extra time to reach his potential – tall, long and gangly, with inconsistent mechanics that require extensive refinement. I'm not saying that means he will reach his potential, only that he has those makings. Control has been an issue for Gonsalves all along, and his wildness came to roost in Minnesota, where he issued 22 walks in 24 2/3 innings of work. In Triple-A his 13.4% BB-rate was the highest out of 35 pitchers to throw 100+ innings. When Gonsalves is outside of the zone, he doesn't really get people to chase, and when he's in the zone he doesn't really get people to miss. Gonsalves allows quite a bit of contact. But he doesn't allow much loud contact. In 23 outings between Double-A and Triple-A before his call-up in 2018, he held opponents to a .184 average and .283 slugging percentage. He had a six-start stretch from June to July in Rochester where he didn't allow a single extra-base hit. Despite being a heavy fly ball pitcher, he has the same minuscule HR/9 rate in the minors as ground ball specialist extraordinaire Kohl Stewart. Even though he got knocked around in his first exposure to the majors, yielding a 6.57 ERA and 2.03 WHIP in seven total appearances, Gonsalves allowed just two homers and seven total XBHs while facing 122 total batters. His track record tells us there's nothing fluky about that. *** At present, the Twins have an open vacancy in their rotation behind Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda. There are a number of candidates to fill it, and Gonsalves isn't at the front of the line. He's not as good as Fernando Romero and he doesn't have Adalberto Mejia's out-of-options impetus. So, barring injuries, I'd say Gonsalves' chances of winning a job out of camp are very low, even if the Twins don't sign another starter. But that's just fine. The Twins' mission for the next two seasons – between Wes Johnson, Jeremy Hefner, Cliburn, Mike McCarthy, and the rest of the pitching braintrust – is to iron out the kinks in Gonsalves' game and turning him into a quality option for the back half of the rotation. The southpaw's weaknesses are evident, but don't sleep on the strengths that carried him to a 2.46 ERA and 6.4 H/9 rate in 600 minor-league innings – as well as a stunningly strong finish in his first big-league season.
  25. When I posted my series ranking the Top 20 Minnesota Twins assets over the past couple of weeks, there were plenty of quibbles and disagreements expressed, serving to me as a good gauge of how TD's community at large is feeling about various players. One asset that many people seem to be down on is Stephen Gonsalves, which isn't too surprising. But to me, he seems like a player worthy of a closer look.In his final three appearances for the Twins in 2018 – all coming in relief of an "opener" – Gonsalves threw 12 1/3 innings, faced 50 batters, and allowed four hits. All singles. That's a .098 batting average and a .098 slugging percentage. While it was a small sample, and more than offset by the .414 AVG and .621 SLG he allowed in his first four starts, this unhittable stretch was still noteworthy. It's noteworthy because it mirrors the formula that brought Gonsalves immense success at every level of the minors. The left-hander has a fairly rare strength working in his favor, and it was on display during an otherwise rough MLB debut: He is very, very hard to square up. And while other aspects of his game may need a lot of work, that's not a bad foundation. *** It's important to keep this in mind: Gonsalves has lots of development ahead of him yet. What we saw in 2018 was (hopefully) not the finished product. He's still only 24 and has two options remaining, so through next year, the Twins can shuttle him to Triple-A as needed to work with Rochester pitching coach Stu Cliburn on the flaws that are holding back his game. In many ways, Gonsalves is the prototype for a pitcher who takes extra time to reach his potential – tall, long and gangly, with inconsistent mechanics that require extensive refinement. I'm not saying that means he will reach his potential, only that he has those makings. Control has been an issue for Gonsalves all along, and his wildness came to roost in Minnesota, where he issued 22 walks in 24 2/3 innings of work. In Triple-A his 13.4% BB-rate was the highest out of 35 pitchers to throw 100+ innings. When Gonsalves is outside of the zone, he doesn't really get people to chase, and when he's in the zone he doesn't really get people to miss. Gonsalves allows quite a bit of contact. But he doesn't allow much loud contact. In 23 outings between Double-A and Triple-A before his call-up in 2018, he held opponents to a .184 average and .283 slugging percentage. He had a six-start stretch from June to July in Rochester where he didn't allow a single extra-base hit. Despite being a heavy fly ball pitcher, he has the same minuscule HR/9 rate in the minors as ground ball specialist extraordinaire Kohl Stewart. Even though he got knocked around in his first exposure to the majors, yielding a 6.57 ERA and 2.03 WHIP in seven total appearances, Gonsalves allowed just two homers and seven total XBHs while facing 122 total batters. His track record tells us there's nothing fluky about that. *** At present, the Twins have an open vacancy in their rotation behind Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda. There are a number of candidates to fill it, and Gonsalves isn't at the front of the line. He's not as good as Fernando Romero and he doesn't have Adalberto Mejia's out-of-options impetus. So, barring injuries, I'd say Gonsalves' chances of winning a job out of camp are very low, even if the Twins don't sign another starter. But that's just fine. The Twins' mission for the next two seasons – between Wes Johnson, Jeremy Hefner, Cliburn, Mike McCarthy, and the rest of the pitching braintrust – is to iron out the kinks in Gonsalves' game and turning him into a quality option for the back half of the rotation. The southpaw's weaknesses are evident, but don't sleep on the strengths that carried him to a 2.46 ERA and 6.4 H/9 rate in 600 minor-league innings – as well as a stunningly strong finish in his first big-league season. Click here to view the article
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