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  1. The Saints lost 13-3 one day after winning by that score. The Wind Surge lost to Jack Leiter in Game 1 of their doubleheader but were able to salvage it thanks to a big offensive game from Jair Camargo. Kyler Fedko had an amazing game. Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to show why he is one of the Twins’ best prospects, and Steve Hajjar continued to dominate. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS The Twins optioned Cole Sands to AAA following Tuesday’s doubleheader The St. Paul Saints activated Jake Petricka from the 7-day IL The Cedar Rapids Kernels activated Yunior Severino from the 7-day IL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 3, Iowa 13 Box Score The St. Paul Saints dropped a tough one to the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday by a score of 13-3. Daniel Gossett made his fourth start of the year for the Saints and struggled mightily. Gossett only went two innings, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits and three walks and not striking out any batters. Gossett took the loss, dropping his record to 1-2 on the year. In his last two outings, he has allowed 14 earned runs in only five innings, as his ERA has skyrocketed to an unimpressive 10.65. The Saints were down 9-0 after the second inning, so the rest of the game was simply a formality. In the top of the fourth, Jake Cave closed the deficit to eight with a solo home run, his fifth homer of the year. In the fifth inning, Elliot Soto scored on a Spencer Steer groundout to make it a 9-2 game. Wladimir Pinto came on in relief of Gossett and gave up two earned runs in three innings of work, striking out five. Pinto has been very solid for the Saints this year, only allowing three earned runs in 20 innings for an ERA of 1.35. He has also struck out 27 batters in those 20 innings. In his first game since being activated from the 7-day IL, Jake Petricka came on in relief of Pinto and threw two scoreless innings, not allowing a hit and striking out two batters. His season ERA is now down to 4.22. Tim Beckham singled in Michael Helman in the top of the eighth to make it 11-3, but the Saints stranded two runners on base to end the inning. Beckham, Cave, and Jose Godoy all had multi-hit games for the Saints. With the loss, the Saints record falls to 21-28 on the year. They will be back in action on Thursday against Iowa. WIND SURGE (AA) Game 1: Wichita 0, Frisco 3 Box Score In a game that was picked up in the second inning after being delayed Tuesday, the bats were delayed too as the Wind Surge lost 3-0 to Frisco and Rangers’ top prospect Jack Leiter. Blayne Enlow took the mound when the game re-started on Wednesday, and he pitched well, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, and striking out four. Bryan Sammons and Alex Scherff each pitched in relief of Enlow, allowing two and zero runs respectively. Sammons went three innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out three. Sammons took the loss as his record moved to 1-3 on the year. Scherff pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. In the bottom of the seventh, the Wind Surge had a chance to tie the game but they stranded runners on first and second after DaShawn Keirsey and Leobaldo Cabrera singled. Keirsey went 2-for-3 with a walk and stole his 14th base of the year. Cabrera was 1-for-2 with a walk, Edouard Julien was 1-for-3 with a walk, and Ernie Yake picked up the only other hit for the Wind Surge in a disappointing loss. With the loss, the Wind Surge dropped to 26-18, half a game behind Tulsa for the best record in the Texas League. Game 2: Wichita 7, Frisco 1 Box Score The Wind Surge bounced back in Game 2, salvaging a doubleheader split with Frisco by winning 7-1 to improve to 27-18 on the season. Kody Funderburk got the ball in game two, throwing four scoreless innings in his debut as a starter. Funderburk struck out four batters and only allowed two hits. Denny Bentley, Steven Cruz, and Steve Klimek all threw in relief of Funderburk, and the only run allowed was by Cruz, but was unearned. Klimek picked up his first win of the season. The Wind Surge got the offense going early in this one, as Austin Martin led off the bottom half of the first with his second triple of the year and Jair Camargo followed that with a homer to make it 2-0. This was Camargo's first hit as a member of the Wind Surge. Three batters later, Dennis Ortega drove in Alex Isola with his seventh double of the year to make it 3-0. In the bottom of the second, Isola hit his sixth homer of the season to make it a 5-0 game. Isola started off June strong after a month of May where he had a .925 OPS in 68 at-bats. In the fourth, Camargo hit another two-run bomb to make it 7-0. The Wind Surge were resilient and split the double-header. Martin, Camargo, and Isola all had multi-hit games and Camargo picked up four RBI. They will send one of the Twins’ top prospects to the mound tomorrow in Matt Canterino. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 10, Lansing 2 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels won in dominating fashion on Wednesday by a score of 10-2. The win pushed their record to 30-17, the best record in the West division of the Midwest league by a one-game margin. Sawyer Gipson-Long started on the mound for the Kernels and picked up his fourth win of the year. Gipson-Long went six innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters. His season ERA improved to a very good 2.06. Orlando Rodriguez and Ryan Shreve pitched in relief of Gipson-Long. Rodriguez went two innings, allowing only one run despite walking three batters. Shreve pitched the final inning, only needing eight pitches to put the final touches on a Kernel victory. The Kernels put on a show offensively in this one, and it started right away when Anthony Prato led off the game with his eighth double of the year. Prato came around to score on a run-scoring single by Kyler Fedko. One batter later, Yunior Severino tripled in his first at-bat since being activated from the IL Fedko scored. Severino came around to score on a throwing error to give the Kernels a 3-0 lead before Gipson-Long had even thrown a pitch. In the top of the third, Alerick Soularie blasted a two-out, three-run homer to give the Kernels a 6-0 lead. The homer was Soularie’s fourth of the year. Two innings later, Fedko picked up his third hit of the game with a solo homer to right-field for his third homer of the season. Fedko finished 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two RBI, a walk, and a homer. His season OPS is now up to .913. Severino went 2-for-3 with two runs, a triple, and two walks. Soularie finished 1-for-2 with two runs, four RBI, the homer, and three walks. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 1, Tampa 2 Box Score The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels dropped a tough contest 2-1 on Wednesday, dropping their record to a still great 31-15. Steve Hajjar took the mound for Fort Myers, throwing 4.1 innings while allowing one run on two hits and two walks. Hajjar struck out seven batters, continuing his utter dominance over Low-A hitters in 2022. He has struck out 57 batters in 33 innings at Low-A and if he keeps dominating, he may not be in Fort Myers for much longer. Jorge Alcala made a rehab stint, throwing one inning and allowing one unearned run while striking out one batter. He took the loss in this one but his fastball averaged 96 miles per hour and he was up to 99, so it is safe to say he is feeling healthy. One unknown pitcher who has been dominant is Matthew Swain. Swain threw two scoreless innings in this game, making it 21 innings so far this year without allowing an earned run. He has struck out 31 batters while only allowing four hits and five walks on the year. Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to do Emmanuel Rodriguez things in this game, hitting his eighth homer of the year and drawing two walks. His season OPS is now up to .998, which leads the Florida State League by over 100 points, and he is one of the highest upside players in the Twins whole system as he is still only 19 years old. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Kyler Fedko (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR (3), BB PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-8, 2 R, 3B (2), K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, 3 K #5 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches, 11 strikes (45.8%)) (Tuesday) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, RBI #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-2, R, HR (8), RBI, 2 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, 2 K #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (65 pitches, 38 strikes (58.5%) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-7, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2B (9), BB, K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (81 pitches, 47 strikes (58%)) THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (12:08 CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez (3-1, 3.99 ERA) Frisco @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - RHP Matt Canterino (0-1, 2.05 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-2, 6.38 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 2.48 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  2. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS The Twins optioned Cole Sands to AAA following Tuesday’s doubleheader The St. Paul Saints activated Jake Petricka from the 7-day IL The Cedar Rapids Kernels activated Yunior Severino from the 7-day IL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 3, Iowa 13 Box Score The St. Paul Saints dropped a tough one to the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday by a score of 13-3. Daniel Gossett made his fourth start of the year for the Saints and struggled mightily. Gossett only went two innings, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits and three walks and not striking out any batters. Gossett took the loss, dropping his record to 1-2 on the year. In his last two outings, he has allowed 14 earned runs in only five innings, as his ERA has skyrocketed to an unimpressive 10.65. The Saints were down 9-0 after the second inning, so the rest of the game was simply a formality. In the top of the fourth, Jake Cave closed the deficit to eight with a solo home run, his fifth homer of the year. In the fifth inning, Elliot Soto scored on a Spencer Steer groundout to make it a 9-2 game. Wladimir Pinto came on in relief of Gossett and gave up two earned runs in three innings of work, striking out five. Pinto has been very solid for the Saints this year, only allowing three earned runs in 20 innings for an ERA of 1.35. He has also struck out 27 batters in those 20 innings. In his first game since being activated from the 7-day IL, Jake Petricka came on in relief of Pinto and threw two scoreless innings, not allowing a hit and striking out two batters. His season ERA is now down to 4.22. Tim Beckham singled in Michael Helman in the top of the eighth to make it 11-3, but the Saints stranded two runners on base to end the inning. Beckham, Cave, and Jose Godoy all had multi-hit games for the Saints. With the loss, the Saints record falls to 21-28 on the year. They will be back in action on Thursday against Iowa. WIND SURGE (AA) Game 1: Wichita 0, Frisco 3 Box Score In a game that was picked up in the second inning after being delayed Tuesday, the bats were delayed too as the Wind Surge lost 3-0 to Frisco and Rangers’ top prospect Jack Leiter. Blayne Enlow took the mound when the game re-started on Wednesday, and he pitched well, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, and striking out four. Bryan Sammons and Alex Scherff each pitched in relief of Enlow, allowing two and zero runs respectively. Sammons went three innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out three. Sammons took the loss as his record moved to 1-3 on the year. Scherff pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. In the bottom of the seventh, the Wind Surge had a chance to tie the game but they stranded runners on first and second after DaShawn Keirsey and Leobaldo Cabrera singled. Keirsey went 2-for-3 with a walk and stole his 14th base of the year. Cabrera was 1-for-2 with a walk, Edouard Julien was 1-for-3 with a walk, and Ernie Yake picked up the only other hit for the Wind Surge in a disappointing loss. With the loss, the Wind Surge dropped to 26-18, half a game behind Tulsa for the best record in the Texas League. Game 2: Wichita 7, Frisco 1 Box Score The Wind Surge bounced back in Game 2, salvaging a doubleheader split with Frisco by winning 7-1 to improve to 27-18 on the season. Kody Funderburk got the ball in game two, throwing four scoreless innings in his debut as a starter. Funderburk struck out four batters and only allowed two hits. Denny Bentley, Steven Cruz, and Steve Klimek all threw in relief of Funderburk, and the only run allowed was by Cruz, but was unearned. Klimek picked up his first win of the season. The Wind Surge got the offense going early in this one, as Austin Martin led off the bottom half of the first with his second triple of the year and Jair Camargo followed that with a homer to make it 2-0. This was Camargo's first hit as a member of the Wind Surge. Three batters later, Dennis Ortega drove in Alex Isola with his seventh double of the year to make it 3-0. In the bottom of the second, Isola hit his sixth homer of the season to make it a 5-0 game. Isola started off June strong after a month of May where he had a .925 OPS in 68 at-bats. In the fourth, Camargo hit another two-run bomb to make it 7-0. The Wind Surge were resilient and split the double-header. Martin, Camargo, and Isola all had multi-hit games and Camargo picked up four RBI. They will send one of the Twins’ top prospects to the mound tomorrow in Matt Canterino. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 10, Lansing 2 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels won in dominating fashion on Wednesday by a score of 10-2. The win pushed their record to 30-17, the best record in the West division of the Midwest league by a one-game margin. Sawyer Gipson-Long started on the mound for the Kernels and picked up his fourth win of the year. Gipson-Long went six innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters. His season ERA improved to a very good 2.06. Orlando Rodriguez and Ryan Shreve pitched in relief of Gipson-Long. Rodriguez went two innings, allowing only one run despite walking three batters. Shreve pitched the final inning, only needing eight pitches to put the final touches on a Kernel victory. The Kernels put on a show offensively in this one, and it started right away when Anthony Prato led off the game with his eighth double of the year. Prato came around to score on a run-scoring single by Kyler Fedko. One batter later, Yunior Severino tripled in his first at-bat since being activated from the IL Fedko scored. Severino came around to score on a throwing error to give the Kernels a 3-0 lead before Gipson-Long had even thrown a pitch. In the top of the third, Alerick Soularie blasted a two-out, three-run homer to give the Kernels a 6-0 lead. The homer was Soularie’s fourth of the year. Two innings later, Fedko picked up his third hit of the game with a solo homer to right-field for his third homer of the season. Fedko finished 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two RBI, a walk, and a homer. His season OPS is now up to .913. Severino went 2-for-3 with two runs, a triple, and two walks. Soularie finished 1-for-2 with two runs, four RBI, the homer, and three walks. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 1, Tampa 2 Box Score The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels dropped a tough contest 2-1 on Wednesday, dropping their record to a still great 31-15. Steve Hajjar took the mound for Fort Myers, throwing 4.1 innings while allowing one run on two hits and two walks. Hajjar struck out seven batters, continuing his utter dominance over Low-A hitters in 2022. He has struck out 57 batters in 33 innings at Low-A and if he keeps dominating, he may not be in Fort Myers for much longer. Jorge Alcala made a rehab stint, throwing one inning and allowing one unearned run while striking out one batter. He took the loss in this one but his fastball averaged 96 miles per hour and he was up to 99, so it is safe to say he is feeling healthy. One unknown pitcher who has been dominant is Matthew Swain. Swain threw two scoreless innings in this game, making it 21 innings so far this year without allowing an earned run. He has struck out 31 batters while only allowing four hits and five walks on the year. Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to do Emmanuel Rodriguez things in this game, hitting his eighth homer of the year and drawing two walks. His season OPS is now up to .998, which leads the Florida State League by over 100 points, and he is one of the highest upside players in the Twins whole system as he is still only 19 years old. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Kyler Fedko (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR (3), BB PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-8, 2 R, 3B (2), K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, 3 K #5 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches, 11 strikes (45.8%)) (Tuesday) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, RBI #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-2, R, HR (8), RBI, 2 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, 2 K #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (65 pitches, 38 strikes (58.5%) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-7, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2B (9), BB, K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (81 pitches, 47 strikes (58%)) THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (12:08 CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez (3-1, 3.99 ERA) Frisco @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - RHP Matt Canterino (0-1, 2.05 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-2, 6.38 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 2.48 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  3. May has ended, and it is now time to crown the player we at Twins Daily believed is deserving of our coveted Minor League Starter of the Month Award. College arms dominating has been the story so far this year, and our list reflects that. Let's begin! Previous 2022 Starting Pitcher of the Month April - John Stankiewicz Methodology: This isn’t a scientific ranking by any stretch of the imagination. Other minor league writers gave feedback on their top players before the author weighed their choices with his own opinions. Results were less clear-cut than one would hope (one writer had Matt Canterino 2nd while another had him 6th). This is meant to act as a general spotlight to shine on many players, not just the one we deemed “the best,” so don’t take this any more seriously than it needs to be. Honorable Mention - Travis Adams - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 3.15 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 29.7 K%, 20 IP Travis Adams, the Twins 6th round pick in 2021 out of Sacramento State, threw his hat in the ring of notable college arms making noise in 2022. He allowed a few more runs than the arms that will grace this list, but he was still outstanding—allowing an opponent batting average of .162 in May against a WHIP of 0.85. Honorable Mention - Chi Chi González - St. Paul Saints, 2.53 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 24.4 K%, 21 1/3 IP Chi Chi González joined the Twins organization this past off-season, inking a minor league deal hoping that he could pitch his way into an unsteady major league rotation. That hasn’t happened yet, but González took a significant step towards that future in May. He rebounded from a shaky April to pitch to a respectable 2.53 ERA in May without giving up a long ball in four starts. Number Five - Sawyer Gipson-Long - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.74 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 29.5 K%, 20 2/3 IP Sawyer Gipson-Long, another recent college arm (someone should write about that), popped up on the prospect radar last season and is proving that his success is no fluke. The righty from Mercer crushed his competition in May, allowing a sub-.200 batting average against while striking out batters at nearly a 30% clip. That’s good, folks. His age, combined with his status as an older arm, curses his evaluations to be bland; Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin described him as someone who sits “90-94 with an above-average slider and plenty of strikes.” Keep an eye on him as an under-the-radar pitcher who could be in Wichita very soon. Number Four - Brent Headrick - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 0.93 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 26.0 K%, 19 ⅓ IP Another former-collegiate pitcher, Brent Headrick, has found command in 2022, and hitters have suffered for it. Headrick crushed May, holding a WHIP of just 0.78 with three of his four starts ending without him surrendering an earned run. His FIP held him back from placing higher on this list—the next three pitchers all dominated in ERA and peripherals—but that’s hardly a knock on Headrick’s pitching ability. Allowing two earned runs in an entire month is elite, no matter how you slice it. Number Three - Matt Canterino - Wichita Wind Surge, 2.00 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 37.3 K%, 18 IP Matt Canterino had an unusual month of May; he started four games while piggybacking in another but still ended up with fewer innings than all previously named starters. Nonetheless, he dominated. Canterino allowed runs in just one outing while striking out the world as he returns from an elbow injury that shortened his 2021 season. The Rice product walked more batters than one would prefer (12.0% of them), but his strikeout total in May was so ridiculous that he still ended up at the number three spot. Number Two - David Festa- Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.45 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 36.8 K%, 18 2/3 IP One of the most talked-about Twins prospects this year, David Festa, had a month to remember in May. The 13th-round pick out of Seton Hall embodied efficiency, striking out hitters like an elite MLB reliever while not sacrificing command in favor of his stuff; he walked just 5.9% of hitters in May. His performance earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids, where he made two outings; one great and one forgettable. His ascent through the minors could be rapid, so make sure to stop and appreciate Festa before he switches levels again. Number One - Steve Hajjar - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 0.51 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 42.6 K%, 17 ⅔ IP For a while, Steve Hajjar was like Cthulu—legendary and fearsome, but never seen as he pitched with a Fort Myers team that doesn’t broadcast their games and only occasionally plays against a team that does. Then May 26th happened. Hajjar took the mound against the Bradenton Marauders and shut them down completely, fanning 10 over 5 ⅔ innings with no earned runs. It was the perfect culmination of Hajjar’s ability. The Twins drafted the tall lefty out of Michigan in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft; enamored by his potential, they handed him over $1 million. Hajjar didn’t pitch for the organization that year, but grumblings from team sources indicated that they were pleased with his internal performance. 2022 hasn’t left much for the imagination. The fewest amount of strikeouts Hajjar netted in a single game is 5, and he’s already punched out 50 batters through 29 innings of work. 29; he’s thrown 29 innings and has 50 strikeouts. Walker Buehler has thrown nearly 60 innings and only has 49. The primary issue left for Hajjar is command—he’s walked 17 hitters in those 29 innings to give him a ghastly 14.7 BB% on the year. Although, there may be signs of control as he’s walked just one batter respectively in each of his last two starts. Hajjar is a starter with immense potential, and it will be a great joy to watch him develop in the Twins system. View full article
  4. Previous 2022 Starting Pitcher of the Month April - John Stankiewicz Methodology: This isn’t a scientific ranking by any stretch of the imagination. Other minor league writers gave feedback on their top players before the author weighed their choices with his own opinions. Results were less clear-cut than one would hope (one writer had Matt Canterino 2nd while another had him 6th). This is meant to act as a general spotlight to shine on many players, not just the one we deemed “the best,” so don’t take this any more seriously than it needs to be. Honorable Mention - Travis Adams - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 3.15 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 29.7 K%, 20 IP Travis Adams, the Twins 6th round pick in 2021 out of Sacramento State, threw his hat in the ring of notable college arms making noise in 2022. He allowed a few more runs than the arms that will grace this list, but he was still outstanding—allowing an opponent batting average of .162 in May against a WHIP of 0.85. Honorable Mention - Chi Chi González - St. Paul Saints, 2.53 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 24.4 K%, 21 1/3 IP Chi Chi González joined the Twins organization this past off-season, inking a minor league deal hoping that he could pitch his way into an unsteady major league rotation. That hasn’t happened yet, but González took a significant step towards that future in May. He rebounded from a shaky April to pitch to a respectable 2.53 ERA in May without giving up a long ball in four starts. Number Five - Sawyer Gipson-Long - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.74 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 29.5 K%, 20 2/3 IP Sawyer Gipson-Long, another recent college arm (someone should write about that), popped up on the prospect radar last season and is proving that his success is no fluke. The righty from Mercer crushed his competition in May, allowing a sub-.200 batting average against while striking out batters at nearly a 30% clip. That’s good, folks. His age, combined with his status as an older arm, curses his evaluations to be bland; Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin described him as someone who sits “90-94 with an above-average slider and plenty of strikes.” Keep an eye on him as an under-the-radar pitcher who could be in Wichita very soon. Number Four - Brent Headrick - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 0.93 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 26.0 K%, 19 ⅓ IP Another former-collegiate pitcher, Brent Headrick, has found command in 2022, and hitters have suffered for it. Headrick crushed May, holding a WHIP of just 0.78 with three of his four starts ending without him surrendering an earned run. His FIP held him back from placing higher on this list—the next three pitchers all dominated in ERA and peripherals—but that’s hardly a knock on Headrick’s pitching ability. Allowing two earned runs in an entire month is elite, no matter how you slice it. Number Three - Matt Canterino - Wichita Wind Surge, 2.00 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 37.3 K%, 18 IP Matt Canterino had an unusual month of May; he started four games while piggybacking in another but still ended up with fewer innings than all previously named starters. Nonetheless, he dominated. Canterino allowed runs in just one outing while striking out the world as he returns from an elbow injury that shortened his 2021 season. The Rice product walked more batters than one would prefer (12.0% of them), but his strikeout total in May was so ridiculous that he still ended up at the number three spot. Number Two - David Festa- Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.45 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 36.8 K%, 18 2/3 IP One of the most talked-about Twins prospects this year, David Festa, had a month to remember in May. The 13th-round pick out of Seton Hall embodied efficiency, striking out hitters like an elite MLB reliever while not sacrificing command in favor of his stuff; he walked just 5.9% of hitters in May. His performance earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids, where he made two outings; one great and one forgettable. His ascent through the minors could be rapid, so make sure to stop and appreciate Festa before he switches levels again. Number One - Steve Hajjar - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 0.51 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 42.6 K%, 17 ⅔ IP For a while, Steve Hajjar was like Cthulu—legendary and fearsome, but never seen as he pitched with a Fort Myers team that doesn’t broadcast their games and only occasionally plays against a team that does. Then May 26th happened. Hajjar took the mound against the Bradenton Marauders and shut them down completely, fanning 10 over 5 ⅔ innings with no earned runs. It was the perfect culmination of Hajjar’s ability. The Twins drafted the tall lefty out of Michigan in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft; enamored by his potential, they handed him over $1 million. Hajjar didn’t pitch for the organization that year, but grumblings from team sources indicated that they were pleased with his internal performance. 2022 hasn’t left much for the imagination. The fewest amount of strikeouts Hajjar netted in a single game is 5, and he’s already punched out 50 batters through 29 innings of work. 29; he’s thrown 29 innings and has 50 strikeouts. Walker Buehler has thrown nearly 60 innings and only has 49. The primary issue left for Hajjar is command—he’s walked 17 hitters in those 29 innings to give him a ghastly 14.7 BB% on the year. Although, there may be signs of control as he’s walked just one batter respectively in each of his last two starts. Hajjar is a starter with immense potential, and it will be a great joy to watch him develop in the Twins system.
  5. We are soon about to reach the fifth anniversary of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine joining the Twins. It was to be an intellectual super-team of sorts; Falvey had drawn praise for building the dominant Cleveland starting rotation, with Terry Francona describing him as a do-it-all “rising star.” Thad Levine, a crucial cog in keeping Texas’ front office together, helped orchestrate two popular World Series teams in Texas. Key to their vision was sustainability, long-term planning, and the “method—” whatever system could best improve a depleted Twins franchise. Are we seeing this process at this moment? If you hadn’t been paying attention to the Twins’ minor leagues, you don’t read this site enough, which is a shame. Twins Daily has been covering the system, uhhh, daily, and there has been an apparent development so far in the season: college arms dominating. Cade Povich, Brent Headrick, Steve Hajjar, David Festa, Travis Adams, Matt Canterino, and Sawyer Gipson-Long have all performed well, especially in the context of a minor league system with less sheen after graduations and under-performance amongst the best prospects. Those names stand out. I find K-BB% to be the best quick-and-dirty stat analysis for pitching prospects. It sums up just how dominant a pitcher is against his penchant for walking batters, and it completely removes poor minor league defense from the equation. It’s an incomplete picture for sure, but that’s how minor league stat-scouting goes. How well are those arms performing in context with their peers? With a minimum of 30 innings pitched, here’s how they compare with pitchers in their division. Players ranked by rank relative to division: *Hajjar has 29 innings pitched as of writing this, but he’s an essential piece of the story, so I included him anyway. Festa has pitched with both Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids in 2022, which makes his placement in the table messy—just know his K-BB% would be elite in either league. The Twins have targeted college arms specifically for years now. Since 2017, their drafts have been 43%, 43%, 38%, and 45% college arms, respectively, with 2020 ignored as it should be for every topic. Bailey Ober, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder were college arms, and while they didn’t draft Joe Ryan, he came from the collegiate ranks as well. It took a few years of cleaning out the gutters, but the system is now overflowing with college arms. This focus is nothing new for Derek Falvey; he coveted multiple collegiate arms during his time as a Cleveland executive. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, and Aaron Civale rose through the college ranks before joining Cleveland’s system and found varying levels of success in the majors. That’s three Cy Young winners for those keeping track. An advantage to drafting college arms is their seasoning; those players have more time performing against high-level talent and require less time in the minors than their high school counterparts. Teams know this; it’s why the Angels, probably foolishly, drafted 19 college pitchers in 2021. The draft is 20 rounds. Another truism about drafting college pitchers is that, because their cement is more dry, taking one is less a game of projections and more a project of finding undervalued characteristics. High schoolers might as well be light-years away from the majors, and their development presents an immense risk. The Moneyball book perfectly represented the idea with Billy Beane’s anger at drafting Jeremy Bonderman, a projectable arm with a “clean delivery, and a body that looked as if it had been created to wear a baseball uniform.” Although, Bonderman had the last laugh when he pitched more than 1,200 innings in MLB over a nine-year career. Is this simply just the game repeating itself; it’s meta-game moving full-circle back towards what was cutting edge thinking 20 years ago? Perhaps, perhaps not. If you looked carefully, you’d see that players like Povich and Hajjar found extra velocity ticks after joining the organization. The team could be identifying players with more data attached to them to target a fix or two and enjoy the benefits of a more realized player. After all, this is the landscape of Big Data in baseball, and the Twins might be using it to their advantage. View full article
  6. If you hadn’t been paying attention to the Twins’ minor leagues, you don’t read this site enough, which is a shame. Twins Daily has been covering the system, uhhh, daily, and there has been an apparent development so far in the season: college arms dominating. Cade Povich, Brent Headrick, Steve Hajjar, David Festa, Travis Adams, Matt Canterino, and Sawyer Gipson-Long have all performed well, especially in the context of a minor league system with less sheen after graduations and under-performance amongst the best prospects. Those names stand out. I find K-BB% to be the best quick-and-dirty stat analysis for pitching prospects. It sums up just how dominant a pitcher is against his penchant for walking batters, and it completely removes poor minor league defense from the equation. It’s an incomplete picture for sure, but that’s how minor league stat-scouting goes. How well are those arms performing in context with their peers? With a minimum of 30 innings pitched, here’s how they compare with pitchers in their division. Players ranked by rank relative to division: *Hajjar has 29 innings pitched as of writing this, but he’s an essential piece of the story, so I included him anyway. Festa has pitched with both Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids in 2022, which makes his placement in the table messy—just know his K-BB% would be elite in either league. The Twins have targeted college arms specifically for years now. Since 2017, their drafts have been 43%, 43%, 38%, and 45% college arms, respectively, with 2020 ignored as it should be for every topic. Bailey Ober, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder were college arms, and while they didn’t draft Joe Ryan, he came from the collegiate ranks as well. It took a few years of cleaning out the gutters, but the system is now overflowing with college arms. This focus is nothing new for Derek Falvey; he coveted multiple collegiate arms during his time as a Cleveland executive. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, and Aaron Civale rose through the college ranks before joining Cleveland’s system and found varying levels of success in the majors. That’s three Cy Young winners for those keeping track. An advantage to drafting college arms is their seasoning; those players have more time performing against high-level talent and require less time in the minors than their high school counterparts. Teams know this; it’s why the Angels, probably foolishly, drafted 19 college pitchers in 2021. The draft is 20 rounds. Another truism about drafting college pitchers is that, because their cement is more dry, taking one is less a game of projections and more a project of finding undervalued characteristics. High schoolers might as well be light-years away from the majors, and their development presents an immense risk. The Moneyball book perfectly represented the idea with Billy Beane’s anger at drafting Jeremy Bonderman, a projectable arm with a “clean delivery, and a body that looked as if it had been created to wear a baseball uniform.” Although, Bonderman had the last laugh when he pitched more than 1,200 innings in MLB over a nine-year career. Is this simply just the game repeating itself; it’s meta-game moving full-circle back towards what was cutting edge thinking 20 years ago? Perhaps, perhaps not. If you looked carefully, you’d see that players like Povich and Hajjar found extra velocity ticks after joining the organization. The team could be identifying players with more data attached to them to target a fix or two and enjoy the benefits of a more realized player. After all, this is the landscape of Big Data in baseball, and the Twins might be using it to their advantage.
  7. The Mighty Mussels were the only Twins affiliate to pick up a win on Friday and, for good measure, they decided to grab two. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jharel Cotton cleared waivers and accepted the assignment to St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 8, St. Paul 7 Box Score The Saints rallied late, scoring all seven of their runs after the first four innings, but were unable to overcome the Storm Chasers. Alex Kirilloff was one of the top performers for St. Paul, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and walk. He’s now picked up seven hits in his last 14 at-bats at Triple-A. Kevin Merrell produced the Saints’ best game offensively, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Unfortunately for St. Paul, the pitching staff did not have their best stuff tonight as the collection of Mario Sanchez, Juan Minaya, Wladimir Pinto, and Jharel Cotton combined to allow nine hits and walk seven. Royce Lewis appeared at third base for the first time in his career as the Minnesota Twins attempt to prepare him for a utility role in the majors this season. He went 0-for-5 at the plate with four strikeouts. WIND SURGE WISDOM Springfield 5, Wichita 3 Box Score The Wind Surge rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead but surrendered three runs in the top of the eighth to fall to the Cardinals. Blayne Enlow started on the mound for Wichita and threw four encouraging innings, allowing two runs, a home run, and striking out six. Enlow’s fastball sat in the low- to mid-90s while his slider showed sharp break and hovered between 82-84 mph. While his command—particularly that of his non-fastballs—was spotty, the former 3rd round pick has looked solid for two-straight outings since returning from Tommy John surgery. He has served up a home run in all three of his starts this spring—a rate that will eventually regress—but he’s struck out 12 and not surrendered a walk since being called up to Double-A. Steven Cruz was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs in the eighth. Kody Funderburk, Argenis Angulo, and Alex Scherff pitched four innings of scoreless ball. Michael Helman was the only Wind Surger batter who registered more than one hit, going 3-for-4 with a double. Austin Martin went 1-for-3 with an RBI and stole his 18th bag of the season in the first inning; he’s 32-for-37 during stolen base opportunities in 126 minor league games. KERNELS NUGGETS Lake County 5, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernels bats where quieted and Sawyer Gipson-Long threw his first mediocre game of the season as the Captains sailed to an easy win. Gipson-Long surrendered two home runs—and four runs total—in 4 ⅓ innings, which was more than enough offense to earn Lake County the victory. Prior to Friday, Gipson-Long had not allowed a home run since April 23 nor an earned run since April 30. Melvi Acosta, Bobby Milacki, and Andrew Cabezas pitched well out of the pen, striking out four and allowing only one run over the game’s final 4 2/3 innings. Christian Encarnacion-Strand contributed the Kernels lone extra-base hit—a double—and also drew a walk. He now owns a .326 batting average and .937 OPS in 35 High-A games. Alerick Soularie continued on his hot streak since his frozen start to the season, and contributed two hits. He is 9-for-29 (.310) with two home runs, two triples, and seven RBI over his last eight games. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 1 Game 2: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 0 Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score The Mighty Mussels took both games against the Threshers on Friday to push their record to a blister 24-12 on the season. While the bats were relatively quite, picking up only nine hits across 14 innings, the Fort Myers pitchers were loud, holding Clearwater to only six hits and a single run. Steven Hajjar earned the win in the first game of the day, pitching five innings of scoreless ball, striking out six. Hunter McMahon struckout five in two innings of relief. During the second game, Malik Barrington, Samuel Perez, and Matthew Swain combined to strike out five and allowed only four Threshers to reach base. Kala’i Rosario led the way for the Mighty Mussels at the plate in Game 1, smacking two doubles and driving in two runs. Noah Cardenas also connected for two doubles. In Game 2, Dylan Neuse crush a home run and added a double while Jake Rucker added two hits, with one being a triple. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Kevin Merrell (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, SB #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 4 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 2-for-3, BB #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 3 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 3 BB #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-2, BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul at Omaha ( 6:35 PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 1.72 ERA) Wichita vs. Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-2, 9.95 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Lake County (6:35 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-0, 1.80 ERA) Fort Myers at Clearwater (5:30 PM CST) - TBD View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jharel Cotton cleared waivers and accepted the assignment to St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 8, St. Paul 7 Box Score The Saints rallied late, scoring all seven of their runs after the first four innings, but were unable to overcome the Storm Chasers. Alex Kirilloff was one of the top performers for St. Paul, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and walk. He’s now picked up seven hits in his last 14 at-bats at Triple-A. Kevin Merrell produced the Saints’ best game offensively, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Unfortunately for St. Paul, the pitching staff did not have their best stuff tonight as the collection of Mario Sanchez, Juan Minaya, Wladimir Pinto, and Jharel Cotton combined to allow nine hits and walk seven. Royce Lewis appeared at third base for the first time in his career as the Minnesota Twins attempt to prepare him for a utility role in the majors this season. He went 0-for-5 at the plate with four strikeouts. WIND SURGE WISDOM Springfield 5, Wichita 3 Box Score The Wind Surge rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead but surrendered three runs in the top of the eighth to fall to the Cardinals. Blayne Enlow started on the mound for Wichita and threw four encouraging innings, allowing two runs, a home run, and striking out six. Enlow’s fastball sat in the low- to mid-90s while his slider showed sharp break and hovered between 82-84 mph. While his command—particularly that of his non-fastballs—was spotty, the former 3rd round pick has looked solid for two-straight outings since returning from Tommy John surgery. He has served up a home run in all three of his starts this spring—a rate that will eventually regress—but he’s struck out 12 and not surrendered a walk since being called up to Double-A. Steven Cruz was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs in the eighth. Kody Funderburk, Argenis Angulo, and Alex Scherff pitched four innings of scoreless ball. Michael Helman was the only Wind Surger batter who registered more than one hit, going 3-for-4 with a double. Austin Martin went 1-for-3 with an RBI and stole his 18th bag of the season in the first inning; he’s 32-for-37 during stolen base opportunities in 126 minor league games. KERNELS NUGGETS Lake County 5, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernels bats where quieted and Sawyer Gipson-Long threw his first mediocre game of the season as the Captains sailed to an easy win. Gipson-Long surrendered two home runs—and four runs total—in 4 ⅓ innings, which was more than enough offense to earn Lake County the victory. Prior to Friday, Gipson-Long had not allowed a home run since April 23 nor an earned run since April 30. Melvi Acosta, Bobby Milacki, and Andrew Cabezas pitched well out of the pen, striking out four and allowing only one run over the game’s final 4 2/3 innings. Christian Encarnacion-Strand contributed the Kernels lone extra-base hit—a double—and also drew a walk. He now owns a .326 batting average and .937 OPS in 35 High-A games. Alerick Soularie continued on his hot streak since his frozen start to the season, and contributed two hits. He is 9-for-29 (.310) with two home runs, two triples, and seven RBI over his last eight games. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 1 Game 2: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 0 Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score The Mighty Mussels took both games against the Threshers on Friday to push their record to a blister 24-12 on the season. While the bats were relatively quite, picking up only nine hits across 14 innings, the Fort Myers pitchers were loud, holding Clearwater to only six hits and a single run. Steven Hajjar earned the win in the first game of the day, pitching five innings of scoreless ball, striking out six. Hunter McMahon struckout five in two innings of relief. During the second game, Malik Barrington, Samuel Perez, and Matthew Swain combined to strike out five and allowed only four Threshers to reach base. Kala’i Rosario led the way for the Mighty Mussels at the plate in Game 1, smacking two doubles and driving in two runs. Noah Cardenas also connected for two doubles. In Game 2, Dylan Neuse crush a home run and added a double while Jake Rucker added two hits, with one being a triple. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Kevin Merrell (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, SB #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 4 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 2-for-3, BB #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 3 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 3 BB #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-2, BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul at Omaha ( 6:35 PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 1.72 ERA) Wichita vs. Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-2, 9.95 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Lake County (6:35 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-0, 1.80 ERA) Fort Myers at Clearwater (5:30 PM CST) - TBD
  9. Chris Paddack made his Minnesota Twins debut, laboring through four innings but showing a competitive spirit. Cole Sands was the starter for the St. Paul Saints and pitched five innings of one-run ball. Those two lineups -- the Twins and Saints -- combined for one hit tonight. Ouch. Also featured in this video are Matt Canterino, Austin Martin and Andrew Bechtold. Steve Hajjar made his minor league debut for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels tonight.
  10. Chris Paddack made his Minnesota Twins debut, laboring through four innings but showing a competitive spirit. Cole Sands was the starter for the St. Paul Saints and pitched five innings of one-run ball. Those two lineups -- the Twins and Saints -- combined for one hit tonight. Ouch. Also featured in this video are Matt Canterino, Austin Martin and Andrew Bechtold. Steve Hajjar made his minor league debut for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels tonight. View full video
  11. Many of Minnesota's minor league affiliates began their 2022 seasons this week, which can get fans excited about the organization's future. Here is one potential breakout prospect for each minor league affiliate. Minor league rosters are fluid, and many of the players below will play at multiple levels during the 2022 campaign. Jose Miranda was the farm system's breakout prospect last season, but many in the organization predicted that improvements were imminent. So, who are some players to follow at each level to start the year? Triple-A: Royce Lewis, SS Minnesota stacked the Triple-A roster with some of the team's top prospects, including Jordan Balazovic, Cole Sands, and Jose Miranda. For good reasons, many prospect rankings have dropped Lewis. Baseball America dropped him 53 spots, MLB Pipeline dropped him 29 spots, and Baseball Prospectus took him out of their top-100. Entering the 2022 season, Lewis hadn't seen game action since the 2019 Arizona Fall League. His speed is one of his best tools, and there were questions about how much his knee surgery would impact this skill. Lewis is looking to prove his doubters wrong this season and put his name back into the conversation as one of baseball's best prospects. Double-A: Simeon Woods Richardson, SP Austin Martin, Matt Canterino, and Matt Wallner are all on the Wichita roster, but Woods Richardson is poised to breakout. Toronto and Minnesota were aggressive with Woods Richardson last season as he made 15 appearances at the Double-A level last season as a 20-year-old. He was over 4.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he only had four at-bats where he faced a younger batter. He will still be young for Double-A in his first full season in the Twins organization, but now he has had the opportunity to get out some of the kinks. Also, he is in his third organization since the start of the 2018 season. Staying at a level and getting used to a coaching staff can help him thrive in 2022. High-A: Yunior Severino, IF Cedar Rapids has a loaded roster with plenty of players with breakout potential. Aaron Sabato, Cade Povich, and Alerick Soularie will all look to make their mark this season. Severino is looking to have his first professional season with 100+ games, which has the potential to result in some strong numbers. Last season, he raised his OPS from .740 at Low-A to .907 at High-A. In 35 games with Cedar Rapids, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 16 extra-base hits. He struck out 125 times in 98 games, so that will be a number to watch. He ended the year with 29 doubles, and if a few more of those balls make it over the fence, he suddenly looks like a very intriguing prospect. Low-A: Steve Hajjar, SP In Fort Myers, there is a collection of young players with plenty of upside, including Noah Miller, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Keoni Cavaco. Hajjar's college experience means he has the chance to dominate in the lower levels of the minors. He has the potential to move quickly from Low-A to High-A and a chance of reaching Double-A by the season's end. There's no reason to rush him, but the Twins have already helped him make some promising mechanical adjustments. During the 2021 college season, his fastball averaged 90 mph, but the Twins have helped him add a little more velocity. He's also focused on his slider to try and help him improve against left-handed batters. Minnesota has a lot of young pitchers ready to debut this season, but Hajjar is a solid piece to have waiting in the wings for the years ahead. Which of these players is poised to breakout? Do you have other picks? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  12. Minor league rosters are fluid, and many of the players below will play at multiple levels during the 2022 campaign. Jose Miranda was the farm system's breakout prospect last season, but many in the organization predicted that improvements were imminent. So, who are some players to follow at each level to start the year? Triple-A: Royce Lewis, SS Minnesota stacked the Triple-A roster with some of the team's top prospects, including Jordan Balazovic, Cole Sands, and Jose Miranda. For good reasons, many prospect rankings have dropped Lewis. Baseball America dropped him 53 spots, MLB Pipeline dropped him 29 spots, and Baseball Prospectus took him out of their top-100. Entering the 2022 season, Lewis hadn't seen game action since the 2019 Arizona Fall League. His speed is one of his best tools, and there were questions about how much his knee surgery would impact this skill. Lewis is looking to prove his doubters wrong this season and put his name back into the conversation as one of baseball's best prospects. Double-A: Simeon Woods Richardson, SP Austin Martin, Matt Canterino, and Matt Wallner are all on the Wichita roster, but Woods Richardson is poised to breakout. Toronto and Minnesota were aggressive with Woods Richardson last season as he made 15 appearances at the Double-A level last season as a 20-year-old. He was over 4.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he only had four at-bats where he faced a younger batter. He will still be young for Double-A in his first full season in the Twins organization, but now he has had the opportunity to get out some of the kinks. Also, he is in his third organization since the start of the 2018 season. Staying at a level and getting used to a coaching staff can help him thrive in 2022. High-A: Yunior Severino, IF Cedar Rapids has a loaded roster with plenty of players with breakout potential. Aaron Sabato, Cade Povich, and Alerick Soularie will all look to make their mark this season. Severino is looking to have his first professional season with 100+ games, which has the potential to result in some strong numbers. Last season, he raised his OPS from .740 at Low-A to .907 at High-A. In 35 games with Cedar Rapids, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 16 extra-base hits. He struck out 125 times in 98 games, so that will be a number to watch. He ended the year with 29 doubles, and if a few more of those balls make it over the fence, he suddenly looks like a very intriguing prospect. Low-A: Steve Hajjar, SP In Fort Myers, there is a collection of young players with plenty of upside, including Noah Miller, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Keoni Cavaco. Hajjar's college experience means he has the chance to dominate in the lower levels of the minors. He has the potential to move quickly from Low-A to High-A and a chance of reaching Double-A by the season's end. There's no reason to rush him, but the Twins have already helped him make some promising mechanical adjustments. During the 2021 college season, his fastball averaged 90 mph, but the Twins have helped him add a little more velocity. He's also focused on his slider to try and help him improve against left-handed batters. Minnesota has a lot of young pitchers ready to debut this season, but Hajjar is a solid piece to have waiting in the wings for the years ahead. Which of these players is poised to breakout? Do you have other picks? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  13. On Wednesday, the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels announced their 2022 Opening Day Roster. The roster includes several of the team’s top prospects including two of Twins Daily’s Top 20 prospects. Let’s take a look at the Mighty Mussels roster. In 2021, the Mighty Mussels adjusted to their first season in Low-A ball. It was even more difficult because there wasn’t an Advanced Rookie League anymore since the Elizabethton Twins were no more. Players who likely would have played in E-Town were pushed to play in full-season ball. For some, that’s good. Others will have to repeat the level. This group is filled with many 2021 draft picks, some of whom played in Ft. Myers some late last season. We will introduce you to the 2022 Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Meyer Hitting Coach: Rayden Sierra Pitching Coaches: Jared Gaynor, Carlos Hernandez Bench Coach: Takashi Miyoshi PITCHERS RHP Travis Adams (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State, Sacramento, where he was a starter for three years. He made just one appearance in the FCL last year after signing. RHP David Festa (22) - The New Jersey native spent three college seasons at Seton Hall. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. Twins 13th round pick, he throws 94-97 and will be a starter for the Mussels to start the season. RHP Regi Grace (22) - Grace was the Mighty Mussels Opening Day starter last year. He was the Twins 10th round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. LHP Steve Hajjar (21) - Hajjar was the Twins' 2nd round pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He didn’t pitch after signing, but he has a chance to move up quickly. Between 2020 and 2021 at Michigan, he went 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He had 134 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. RHP Jackson Hicks (24) - signed last summer out of the USPBL, Hicks split his time between the FCL and the Mighty Mussels. He walked two with the FCL squad and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings. RHP Hunter McMahon (23) - McMahon came to the Twins from the Nationals after the 2019 season in exchange for Ryne Harper. He had been the Nats' ninth-round pick that summer. A lost 2021 and an injury-plagued 2021 in which he pitched just five games, four with the Mussels. He needs to get some innings under his belt. RHP Juan Mendez (23) - The Dominican made his pro debut last year as a 22-year-old in the FCL. He went 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA over 12 games (5 starts). In 27 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 37 batters. LHP Jaylen Nowlin (21) - The lefty was the Twins 19th round pick last summer from Chipola College. He pitched in just one game last year in the FCL. He was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s with a good slider during instructs. He’ll need to work on control and consistency, but he has potential. RHP Pierson Ohl (22) - He was the Twins 14th round pick last year out of Grand Canyon University. Last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 100 1/3 innings, he walked just 12 and struck out 103. He pitched in just one game with the FCL Twins last year and was a guest on Twins Spotlight in the offseason. RHP Michael Paredes (21) - After three seasons at San Diego State, he was the Twins 18th round pick in 2021. In the FCL, he struck out six and walked one batter in four innings. He profiles as a starter, but he will likely work in multiple roles with the Mighty Mussels. LHP Samuel Perez (22) - Perez was the Twins Daily short-season pitcher of the year in 2021 when he went 4-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He struck out 39 batters and walked just five in 37 1/3 innings. The Twins had signed him in the spring out of the Frontier League. He had initially signed with the Angels and spent two seasons in the DSL. RHP Marco Raya (19) - Raya was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. Minor shoulder issues kept him from pitching during the 2021 season. However, in Instructs last fall, he was impressive, hitting 97 with the fastball to go along with a four-pitch mix. RHP Niklas Rimmel (22) - The Berlin, Germany, native signed with the Twins late in 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018 and 2019, and injuries slowed him last year limited him to just three games and seven innings in the FCL. RHP John Stankiewicz (23) - After three years at Fordham University, he went undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft. He signed with the Twins. Last year, he pitched once in the FCL before making seven appearances (4 starts) for the Mussels. Combined, he went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He had 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings. RHP Matthew Swain (24) - The Twins drafted Swain in the 23rd round in 2019 out of NAIA Georgia Gwinnett College. Last year, he pitched in n35 games for the Mussels. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters while walking 31. He was 6-2 with five saves. He stands 6-7 and throws hard. LHP John Wilson (24) - The southpaw was a freshman All-American at Old Dominion in 2017. Unfortunately, he was hurt and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the 2020 season was cut short. After the draft last year, he signed with the Twins and pitched in 17 games between the FCL (14 games) and Ft. Myers. CATCHERS Noah Cardenas (22) - The Twins went over slot to sign the UCLA backstop as their eight-round pick last summer. A solid defensive catcher, he hit .268/.371/.404 (.774) with 12 doubles and five homers in 57 games. He then hit .300/.400/.500 (.900) in 13 games in the FCL last year. Kyle Schmidt (24) - Twins 33rd round pick in 2019 from Richmond, Schmidt’s defense has kept him jumping all over the Twins organization. Last year, he played 25 games in Ft. Myers, 22 in Cedar Rapids, and even one game up in St. Paul. He hit a combined .250/.370/.329 (.699), including .302/.423/.430 (.853) at Ft. Myers. Great defender all-around. Dillon Tatum (21) - Tatum was the Twins 20th round pick in 2021 out of UC-Irvine, where he hit .278/.401/.684 (1.085) over 40 games last year. He had seven doubles and 15 homers. He played just five games in the FCL late in the season. INFIELDERS Keoni Cavaco (20) - The Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Last year in Ft. Myers, he played in 60 games due to a concussion and other minor injuries. He hit .233/.296/.301 (.597) with six doubles, two triples, and two homers. He is a solid defender at shortstop, but he could return to his high school position, third base, in 2022. Noah Miller (19) - Miller, whose older brother Owen plays for the Guardians, was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In 22 FCL games last year, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with three doubles and two homers. He has impressed the spring, especially defensively, in the four games he played for the Twins. He also had two hits in seven at-bats. Daniel Ozoria (21) - Ozoria came to the Twins from the Angels after the 2018 season for John Curtiss. In 2019, he split time between E-Town and Cedar Rapids. In 2021, he was moved all over. He started the season at Cedar Rapids (now High-A). In 51 games there, he hit .252/.388/.328 (.616) with six doubles and a homer. He also played five games for Ft. Myers and three games in St. Paul. He’s been around a while; it’s hard to believe he’s still just 21. Mikey Perez (22) - After three seasons at UCLA, the Twins made Perez their 15th round pick in 2021. He only played significant time in his junior season. He played well in Mankato in the summer of 2019. After signing, he played one game in the FCL (and went 3-for-4 with a homer). He moved up to Ft. Myers and hit .500 (13-for-26) with five doubles. Primarily a second baseman, he can play around the infield. His mom is the UCLA softball team’s head coach. Jake Rucker (22) - Rucker was the Twins' seventh-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee. As a junior, he hit .330/.399/.520 (.920) with 21 doubles and nine home runs. In 22 games with the Mussels after signing, he hit .265/.377/.324 (.700) with two doubles. Ernie Yake (24) - Yake was the Twins 10th round pick in 2021 out of Gonzaga. As a senior in 2021, he hit .333/.423/.433 (.856) with 14 doubles and one homer in 42 games). He played seven games in the FCL before moving up to St OUTFIELDERS Kyler Fedko (22) - Twins 12th round pick in 2021 out of U-Conn. In 2021, he hit .398/.485/.674 (1.159) with 14 doubles and 12 homers in 52 games. He was putting up similar numbers in 2020 before the pandemic. In 23 games last year for the Mussels, he hit .235/.346/.265 (.610) with two doubles. Dylan Neuse (23) - Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick last year from Texas Tech. He was limited to just 27 games in 2021 and hit .281/.440/.427 (.867) with seven doubles. He has good speed and stole 11 bases. He didn’t play last year after signing. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19) - Rodriguez was a big international signing in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. After a lost 2020 season, Rodriguez played 37 games in 2021 with the FCL Twins. He hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten homers. He also stole nine bases and has become a top Twins prospect. Kala’i Rosario (19) - Rosario was drafted in the fifth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of high school in Hawaii. He was one of the most potent prep bats in that draft class. In 2021, he hit .277/. 341/.452 (.793) with ten doubles, four triples, and five home runs. He was the Twins Daily short-season Hitter of the Year. So what do you think of this roster? There are several very young players with big potential. Leave your Comments and Questions below. View full article
  14. In 2021, the Mighty Mussels adjusted to their first season in Low-A ball. It was even more difficult because there wasn’t an Advanced Rookie League anymore since the Elizabethton Twins were no more. Players who likely would have played in E-Town were pushed to play in full-season ball. For some, that’s good. Others will have to repeat the level. This group is filled with many 2021 draft picks, some of whom played in Ft. Myers some late last season. We will introduce you to the 2022 Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Meyer Hitting Coach: Rayden Sierra Pitching Coaches: Jared Gaynor, Carlos Hernandez Bench Coach: Takashi Miyoshi PITCHERS RHP Travis Adams (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State, Sacramento, where he was a starter for three years. He made just one appearance in the FCL last year after signing. RHP David Festa (22) - The New Jersey native spent three college seasons at Seton Hall. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. Twins 13th round pick, he throws 94-97 and will be a starter for the Mussels to start the season. RHP Regi Grace (22) - Grace was the Mighty Mussels Opening Day starter last year. He was the Twins 10th round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. LHP Steve Hajjar (21) - Hajjar was the Twins' 2nd round pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He didn’t pitch after signing, but he has a chance to move up quickly. Between 2020 and 2021 at Michigan, he went 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He had 134 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. RHP Jackson Hicks (24) - signed last summer out of the USPBL, Hicks split his time between the FCL and the Mighty Mussels. He walked two with the FCL squad and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings. RHP Hunter McMahon (23) - McMahon came to the Twins from the Nationals after the 2019 season in exchange for Ryne Harper. He had been the Nats' ninth-round pick that summer. A lost 2021 and an injury-plagued 2021 in which he pitched just five games, four with the Mussels. He needs to get some innings under his belt. RHP Juan Mendez (23) - The Dominican made his pro debut last year as a 22-year-old in the FCL. He went 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA over 12 games (5 starts). In 27 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 37 batters. LHP Jaylen Nowlin (21) - The lefty was the Twins 19th round pick last summer from Chipola College. He pitched in just one game last year in the FCL. He was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s with a good slider during instructs. He’ll need to work on control and consistency, but he has potential. RHP Pierson Ohl (22) - He was the Twins 14th round pick last year out of Grand Canyon University. Last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 100 1/3 innings, he walked just 12 and struck out 103. He pitched in just one game with the FCL Twins last year and was a guest on Twins Spotlight in the offseason. RHP Michael Paredes (21) - After three seasons at San Diego State, he was the Twins 18th round pick in 2021. In the FCL, he struck out six and walked one batter in four innings. He profiles as a starter, but he will likely work in multiple roles with the Mighty Mussels. LHP Samuel Perez (22) - Perez was the Twins Daily short-season pitcher of the year in 2021 when he went 4-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He struck out 39 batters and walked just five in 37 1/3 innings. The Twins had signed him in the spring out of the Frontier League. He had initially signed with the Angels and spent two seasons in the DSL. RHP Marco Raya (19) - Raya was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. Minor shoulder issues kept him from pitching during the 2021 season. However, in Instructs last fall, he was impressive, hitting 97 with the fastball to go along with a four-pitch mix. RHP Niklas Rimmel (22) - The Berlin, Germany, native signed with the Twins late in 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018 and 2019, and injuries slowed him last year limited him to just three games and seven innings in the FCL. RHP John Stankiewicz (23) - After three years at Fordham University, he went undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft. He signed with the Twins. Last year, he pitched once in the FCL before making seven appearances (4 starts) for the Mussels. Combined, he went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He had 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings. RHP Matthew Swain (24) - The Twins drafted Swain in the 23rd round in 2019 out of NAIA Georgia Gwinnett College. Last year, he pitched in n35 games for the Mussels. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters while walking 31. He was 6-2 with five saves. He stands 6-7 and throws hard. LHP John Wilson (24) - The southpaw was a freshman All-American at Old Dominion in 2017. Unfortunately, he was hurt and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the 2020 season was cut short. After the draft last year, he signed with the Twins and pitched in 17 games between the FCL (14 games) and Ft. Myers. CATCHERS Noah Cardenas (22) - The Twins went over slot to sign the UCLA backstop as their eight-round pick last summer. A solid defensive catcher, he hit .268/.371/.404 (.774) with 12 doubles and five homers in 57 games. He then hit .300/.400/.500 (.900) in 13 games in the FCL last year. Kyle Schmidt (24) - Twins 33rd round pick in 2019 from Richmond, Schmidt’s defense has kept him jumping all over the Twins organization. Last year, he played 25 games in Ft. Myers, 22 in Cedar Rapids, and even one game up in St. Paul. He hit a combined .250/.370/.329 (.699), including .302/.423/.430 (.853) at Ft. Myers. Great defender all-around. Dillon Tatum (21) - Tatum was the Twins 20th round pick in 2021 out of UC-Irvine, where he hit .278/.401/.684 (1.085) over 40 games last year. He had seven doubles and 15 homers. He played just five games in the FCL late in the season. INFIELDERS Keoni Cavaco (20) - The Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Last year in Ft. Myers, he played in 60 games due to a concussion and other minor injuries. He hit .233/.296/.301 (.597) with six doubles, two triples, and two homers. He is a solid defender at shortstop, but he could return to his high school position, third base, in 2022. Noah Miller (19) - Miller, whose older brother Owen plays for the Guardians, was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In 22 FCL games last year, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with three doubles and two homers. He has impressed the spring, especially defensively, in the four games he played for the Twins. He also had two hits in seven at-bats. Daniel Ozoria (21) - Ozoria came to the Twins from the Angels after the 2018 season for John Curtiss. In 2019, he split time between E-Town and Cedar Rapids. In 2021, he was moved all over. He started the season at Cedar Rapids (now High-A). In 51 games there, he hit .252/.388/.328 (.616) with six doubles and a homer. He also played five games for Ft. Myers and three games in St. Paul. He’s been around a while; it’s hard to believe he’s still just 21. Mikey Perez (22) - After three seasons at UCLA, the Twins made Perez their 15th round pick in 2021. He only played significant time in his junior season. He played well in Mankato in the summer of 2019. After signing, he played one game in the FCL (and went 3-for-4 with a homer). He moved up to Ft. Myers and hit .500 (13-for-26) with five doubles. Primarily a second baseman, he can play around the infield. His mom is the UCLA softball team’s head coach. Jake Rucker (22) - Rucker was the Twins' seventh-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee. As a junior, he hit .330/.399/.520 (.920) with 21 doubles and nine home runs. In 22 games with the Mussels after signing, he hit .265/.377/.324 (.700) with two doubles. Ernie Yake (24) - Yake was the Twins 10th round pick in 2021 out of Gonzaga. As a senior in 2021, he hit .333/.423/.433 (.856) with 14 doubles and one homer in 42 games). He played seven games in the FCL before moving up to St OUTFIELDERS Kyler Fedko (22) - Twins 12th round pick in 2021 out of U-Conn. In 2021, he hit .398/.485/.674 (1.159) with 14 doubles and 12 homers in 52 games. He was putting up similar numbers in 2020 before the pandemic. In 23 games last year for the Mussels, he hit .235/.346/.265 (.610) with two doubles. Dylan Neuse (23) - Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick last year from Texas Tech. He was limited to just 27 games in 2021 and hit .281/.440/.427 (.867) with seven doubles. He has good speed and stole 11 bases. He didn’t play last year after signing. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19) - Rodriguez was a big international signing in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. After a lost 2020 season, Rodriguez played 37 games in 2021 with the FCL Twins. He hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten homers. He also stole nine bases and has become a top Twins prospect. Kala’i Rosario (19) - Rosario was drafted in the fifth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of high school in Hawaii. He was one of the most potent prep bats in that draft class. In 2021, he hit .277/. 341/.452 (.793) with ten doubles, four triples, and five home runs. He was the Twins Daily short-season Hitter of the Year. So what do you think of this roster? There are several very young players with big potential. Leave your Comments and Questions below.
  15. Over the next few weeks, Twins Daily is releasing its top 20 Twins prospects. We started with Honorable Mentions and now move on to Numbers 16-20. Twins prospects ranking between 16-20 in our series highlights a dynamic group of players, some brimming with upside and others with higher perceived floors. Let's break it down. 20. LHP Steve Hajjar Age: 21 2021 (Michigan): 14 starts, 81 2/3 IP, 3.09 ERA, 32% K, 8.5% BB The Twins selected Hajjar with the 61st pick in last June’s draft, expressing serious interest in Massachusetts's 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year. Hajjar is a sizeable lefty with a plus-changeup. Like Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, Hajjar’s fastball gets on hitters promptly because of his extension. Hajjar was excellent in his two seasons at Michigan, pitching to a 3.01 ERA with a 31% strikeout rate in just over 100 innings. Hajjar has a deceptive delivery, relying primarily on a fastball-changeup combo with a loopy curve. Hajjar has a chance to move quickly up the system. 19. INF Edouard Julien Age: 22 2021 (A-A+): 112 games, .267/.434/.480, 28 2B, 18 HR, 34/39 SB, 28% K, 21% BB Julien had an exciting season last summer. He walked or struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances while nabbing 34 bases in 39 tries. Julien hit .267 but walked 110 times. It was a strong season overall for Julien, but there are some blemishes, especially considering he’s still in the low minors. With a left-handed stroke, Julien reached base in 44% of his appearances against right-handed pitchers. Julien logged 20 starts at first base, 38 at second base, 22 at third, 15 in left field, and 15 at DH. Like many of the other position players in the Twins’ system, Julien will continue to play all over the diamond. 18. INF Spencer Steer Age: 24 2021 (A+-AA): 110 games, .254/.348/.484, 18 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 21.5% K, 11% BB An example of the Twins helping their contact-oriented prospects tap into more power; Steer hit 24 homers in 110 games in 2021. He had never hit more than six homers in a season, dating back to Oregon. Steer broke out at Cedar Rapids before struggling initially in Wichita. He had a 26-game stretch where he hit .307/.371/.634 (1.004 OPS) for the Surge. Steer worked hard to add more pop to his bat, and his progression has significantly improved his ceiling. Instead of a future slap-hitting utility player, Steer now projects as a potential double-digit homer bat. Steer’s development is certainly encouraging. 17. RHP Blayne Enlow Age: 22 2021 (A+): 3 starts, 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 39% K, 10% BB Enlow was off to a terrific start in Cedar Rapids before an elbow injury (and Tommy John surgery) ended his season. Enlow will have thrown just 14 2/3 Minor League innings in over two years when he returns. Even then, the Twins chose to protect him by adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason. The Twins signed Enlow for $2M in the 2017 draft, pulling him away from a commitment to LSU with an over-slot bonus. Enlow’s fastball had ticked up last summer, an encouraging sign after it sat in the low-90s in a mediocre 2019. Enlow is young, talented, and driven and will be right back on the radar when he returns. 16. OF Emmanuel Rodríguez Age: 18 2021 (FCL): 37 games, .214/.346/.524, 5 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 37% K, 15% BB Rodríguez gained considerable buzz after his power-heavy debut for the FCL Twins. 58% of his plate appearances ended in a walk, strikeout, or home run. To slug .524 in his pro debut at 18 years old is reason enough for excitement, but there are things Rodríguez has to work on as he works his way up. Touted for his advanced approach at the plate, Rodríguez is oozing with projection. Scouts have tabbed Rodríguez with above-average speed in centerfield with a chance to stay there permanently. If you’re looking for a talented potential future top prospect for the Twins, Rodríguez is probably your best bet. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  16. Twins prospects ranking between 16-20 in our series highlights a dynamic group of players, some brimming with upside and others with higher perceived floors. Let's break it down. 20. LHP Steve Hajjar Age: 21 2021 (Michigan): 14 starts, 81 2/3 IP, 3.09 ERA, 32% K, 8.5% BB The Twins selected Hajjar with the 61st pick in last June’s draft, expressing serious interest in Massachusetts's 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year. Hajjar is a sizeable lefty with a plus-changeup. Like Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, Hajjar’s fastball gets on hitters promptly because of his extension. Hajjar was excellent in his two seasons at Michigan, pitching to a 3.01 ERA with a 31% strikeout rate in just over 100 innings. Hajjar has a deceptive delivery, relying primarily on a fastball-changeup combo with a loopy curve. Hajjar has a chance to move quickly up the system. 19. INF Edouard Julien Age: 22 2021 (A-A+): 112 games, .267/.434/.480, 28 2B, 18 HR, 34/39 SB, 28% K, 21% BB Julien had an exciting season last summer. He walked or struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances while nabbing 34 bases in 39 tries. Julien hit .267 but walked 110 times. It was a strong season overall for Julien, but there are some blemishes, especially considering he’s still in the low minors. With a left-handed stroke, Julien reached base in 44% of his appearances against right-handed pitchers. Julien logged 20 starts at first base, 38 at second base, 22 at third, 15 in left field, and 15 at DH. Like many of the other position players in the Twins’ system, Julien will continue to play all over the diamond. 18. INF Spencer Steer Age: 24 2021 (A+-AA): 110 games, .254/.348/.484, 18 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 21.5% K, 11% BB An example of the Twins helping their contact-oriented prospects tap into more power; Steer hit 24 homers in 110 games in 2021. He had never hit more than six homers in a season, dating back to Oregon. Steer broke out at Cedar Rapids before struggling initially in Wichita. He had a 26-game stretch where he hit .307/.371/.634 (1.004 OPS) for the Surge. Steer worked hard to add more pop to his bat, and his progression has significantly improved his ceiling. Instead of a future slap-hitting utility player, Steer now projects as a potential double-digit homer bat. Steer’s development is certainly encouraging. 17. RHP Blayne Enlow Age: 22 2021 (A+): 3 starts, 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 39% K, 10% BB Enlow was off to a terrific start in Cedar Rapids before an elbow injury (and Tommy John surgery) ended his season. Enlow will have thrown just 14 2/3 Minor League innings in over two years when he returns. Even then, the Twins chose to protect him by adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason. The Twins signed Enlow for $2M in the 2017 draft, pulling him away from a commitment to LSU with an over-slot bonus. Enlow’s fastball had ticked up last summer, an encouraging sign after it sat in the low-90s in a mediocre 2019. Enlow is young, talented, and driven and will be right back on the radar when he returns. 16. OF Emmanuel Rodríguez Age: 18 2021 (FCL): 37 games, .214/.346/.524, 5 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 37% K, 15% BB Rodríguez gained considerable buzz after his power-heavy debut for the FCL Twins. 58% of his plate appearances ended in a walk, strikeout, or home run. To slug .524 in his pro debut at 18 years old is reason enough for excitement, but there are things Rodríguez has to work on as he works his way up. Touted for his advanced approach at the plate, Rodríguez is oozing with projection. Scouts have tabbed Rodríguez with above-average speed in centerfield with a chance to stay there permanently. If you’re looking for a talented potential future top prospect for the Twins, Rodríguez is probably your best bet. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  17. This group of Twins prospects features two breakouts from the 2021 season, a 40-man addition, a recent draft pick, and perhaps the most exciting young player in the system. View full video
  18. This group of Twins prospects features two breakouts from the 2021 season, a 40-man addition, a recent draft pick, and perhaps the most exciting young player in the system.
  19. This week, we jump into my choices for the Top 10 hitting and pitching prospects in the Minnesota Twins organization starting with pitchers 6-10 today. This group didn't pitch many pro innings in 2021, but each has the potential to be an impact starter in the big-leagues. Sometimes there aren’t a lot of data points or statistics available in scouting or in prospect analysis. That would be the case today. In this group of five prospects, they combined to pitch just 36 innings of pro ball in 2021. Granted, three of them were drafted in 2021 and threw plenty of innings as amateurs. The other two pitchers missed significant time during the season with injury. So for this group to be pitching prospects six through ten means that they have some impressive scouting reports, stuff, big arms and more. So let’s start. Be sure to discuss and ask questions in the comments below. #10 - LHP Steve Hajjar 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Back in 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Steve Hajjar in the 21st round out of Central Catholic High School in Massachusetts. He declined and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He tore his ACL in the fall of his freshman season. He put his name on the map in 2020. Due to Covid, he made just four starts, but he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Then in 2021, he went 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. In 81 2/3 innings, he struck out 110 batters while walking just 29 batters. The Twins made him their 2nd round pick. The southpaw works in the low-to-mid 90s, though he has been clocked as high as 97 mph. He’s also an advanced pitcher and has a good breaking ball and changeup as part of his four-pitch mix. The 21-year-old will make his pro debut in 2022 and could be a fast mover through the lower levels of the system. #9 - LHP Cade Povich 2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 4/3 G/GS, 0.90 WHIP, 19/2 K/BB, 10.0 IP The Twins drafted Cade Povich in the third round of the 2021 draft. In his junior season at Nebraska, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts. He tossed 81 innings and struck out 88 batters while walking 22. After signing, he went to Ft. Myers and got adjusted to the professional game and the Twins organization. He ended the season with two innings in the FCL before pitching in eight innings (over three games) to end the season with the Mighty Mussels. Along with the impressive numbers he showed all season and in his ten pro innings, his name was the one I heard most coming out of the Instructional League after the season. He’s blessed with a very strong arm, pitching into the mid-90s, but he also has solid secondary pitches. Video surfaced of him airing it out in a cage last week, throwing 101.2 mph. He will turn 22 in April. #8 - RHP Jhoan Duran 2021 STATS: 0-3, 5.06 ERA, 5/4 G/GS, 1.81 WHIP, 22/13 K/BB, 16.0 IP 2021 was a lost season for Jhoan Duran. He began the season in the Injured List with some forearm/elbow issues. He returned to the mound about a month into the season. He showed his stuff, often hitting 102 mph for the Saints (probably actually 100 mph). He’s got a good slider. He has the noted “splinker.” He has the ability to miss bats and get strikeouts. Unfortunately, as you can see above, he couldn’t stay on the mound. After just five games, he went back on the IL and was shut down. He didn’t have surgery and reports were good late in the year. That will be the question. It is also possible that he could wind up in the bullpen where he could be a force and his arm could be protected more. He came to the Twins in the July 2018 Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks. Duran just turned 24 years old over the weekend, so there should be no rush. #7 - RHP Marco Raya 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Along with Povich, the name Marco Raya also came with glowing platitudes about how good he looked at the Instructional League. Raya was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2020. He didn’t pitch during the 2021 season due to a minor injury, but he pitched at Instructs. The 19-year-old from Laredo, Texas, was consistently hitting 97 mph on the radar gun. He also has a lot of pitch-ability. He’s got a changeup. He has a couple of different breaking pitches. He has confidence. Now he just needs some innings. He should start the season with the Mighty Mussels. #6 - RHP Chase Petty 2021 STATS: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 25/17 G/GS, 1.40 WHIP, 6/1 K/BB, 5.0 IP Chase Petty grew up in Millville, New Jersey. Yes, the hometown of Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout. Petty finished out his high school career at Mainland Regional High School, and he actually threw a no-hitter against Trout’s alma mater. In July, the Twins made him the 26th overall pick in the 2021 draft. That night, he immediately showed his personality and charisma that could make him a star off the field. On the field, and specifically on the mound, he has the kind of stuff that could make him an All Star. Petty is blessed with a big arm. He regularly touched triple-digits with his fastball, reportedly hitting 102. While he stands just 6-1, he is lean and has the potential to add strength. But beyond the fastball, Petty throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup, and he has worked on more pitches. After signing, he worked at the Twins complex in Ft. Myers. However, he got into two games at the end of the FCL Twins. He gave up three runs over five innings. He also struck out six batters with just one walk. In games, he was sitting 96-98 mph with the fastball. (Personally, I see this as a good thing) In summary, these five pitchers did not get many professional innings in 2021. They all have potential, and after throwing some innings, we may find that these five and the top five could be pretty interchangeable. This is a group with a ton of potential. Duran is the one that could see big-league time in 2022 if healthy. Povich and Hajjar could be fast movers, and they're left-handed which is certainly an added bonus. Raya and Petty are all about ceiling and upside and the organization should and will be patient with them. This grouping should be a fun list to discuss. I know I'm excited about this group. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 5: 6-10 View full article
  20. Sometimes there aren’t a lot of data points or statistics available in scouting or in prospect analysis. That would be the case today. In this group of five prospects, they combined to pitch just 36 innings of pro ball in 2021. Granted, three of them were drafted in 2021 and threw plenty of innings as amateurs. The other two pitchers missed significant time during the season with injury. So for this group to be pitching prospects six through ten means that they have some impressive scouting reports, stuff, big arms and more. So let’s start. Be sure to discuss and ask questions in the comments below. #10 - LHP Steve Hajjar 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Back in 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Steve Hajjar in the 21st round out of Central Catholic High School in Massachusetts. He declined and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He tore his ACL in the fall of his freshman season. He put his name on the map in 2020. Due to Covid, he made just four starts, but he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Then in 2021, he went 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. In 81 2/3 innings, he struck out 110 batters while walking just 29 batters. The Twins made him their 2nd round pick. The southpaw works in the low-to-mid 90s, though he has been clocked as high as 97 mph. He’s also an advanced pitcher and has a good breaking ball and changeup as part of his four-pitch mix. The 21-year-old will make his pro debut in 2022 and could be a fast mover through the lower levels of the system. #9 - LHP Cade Povich 2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 4/3 G/GS, 0.90 WHIP, 19/2 K/BB, 10.0 IP The Twins drafted Cade Povich in the third round of the 2021 draft. In his junior season at Nebraska, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts. He tossed 81 innings and struck out 88 batters while walking 22. After signing, he went to Ft. Myers and got adjusted to the professional game and the Twins organization. He ended the season with two innings in the FCL before pitching in eight innings (over three games) to end the season with the Mighty Mussels. Along with the impressive numbers he showed all season and in his ten pro innings, his name was the one I heard most coming out of the Instructional League after the season. He’s blessed with a very strong arm, pitching into the mid-90s, but he also has solid secondary pitches. Video surfaced of him airing it out in a cage last week, throwing 101.2 mph. He will turn 22 in April. #8 - RHP Jhoan Duran 2021 STATS: 0-3, 5.06 ERA, 5/4 G/GS, 1.81 WHIP, 22/13 K/BB, 16.0 IP 2021 was a lost season for Jhoan Duran. He began the season in the Injured List with some forearm/elbow issues. He returned to the mound about a month into the season. He showed his stuff, often hitting 102 mph for the Saints (probably actually 100 mph). He’s got a good slider. He has the noted “splinker.” He has the ability to miss bats and get strikeouts. Unfortunately, as you can see above, he couldn’t stay on the mound. After just five games, he went back on the IL and was shut down. He didn’t have surgery and reports were good late in the year. That will be the question. It is also possible that he could wind up in the bullpen where he could be a force and his arm could be protected more. He came to the Twins in the July 2018 Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks. Duran just turned 24 years old over the weekend, so there should be no rush. #7 - RHP Marco Raya 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Along with Povich, the name Marco Raya also came with glowing platitudes about how good he looked at the Instructional League. Raya was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2020. He didn’t pitch during the 2021 season due to a minor injury, but he pitched at Instructs. The 19-year-old from Laredo, Texas, was consistently hitting 97 mph on the radar gun. He also has a lot of pitch-ability. He’s got a changeup. He has a couple of different breaking pitches. He has confidence. Now he just needs some innings. He should start the season with the Mighty Mussels. #6 - RHP Chase Petty 2021 STATS: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 25/17 G/GS, 1.40 WHIP, 6/1 K/BB, 5.0 IP Chase Petty grew up in Millville, New Jersey. Yes, the hometown of Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout. Petty finished out his high school career at Mainland Regional High School, and he actually threw a no-hitter against Trout’s alma mater. In July, the Twins made him the 26th overall pick in the 2021 draft. That night, he immediately showed his personality and charisma that could make him a star off the field. On the field, and specifically on the mound, he has the kind of stuff that could make him an All Star. Petty is blessed with a big arm. He regularly touched triple-digits with his fastball, reportedly hitting 102. While he stands just 6-1, he is lean and has the potential to add strength. But beyond the fastball, Petty throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup, and he has worked on more pitches. After signing, he worked at the Twins complex in Ft. Myers. However, he got into two games at the end of the FCL Twins. He gave up three runs over five innings. He also struck out six batters with just one walk. In games, he was sitting 96-98 mph with the fastball. (Personally, I see this as a good thing) In summary, these five pitchers did not get many professional innings in 2021. They all have potential, and after throwing some innings, we may find that these five and the top five could be pretty interchangeable. This is a group with a ton of potential. Duran is the one that could see big-league time in 2022 if healthy. Povich and Hajjar could be fast movers, and they're left-handed which is certainly an added bonus. Raya and Petty are all about ceiling and upside and the organization should and will be patient with them. This grouping should be a fun list to discuss. I know I'm excited about this group. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 5: 6-10
  21. Last month’s MLB draft and trade deadline saw the Twins add multiple young players that now fit into the team’s top 30 prospects. Do any of the new acquisitions fit in the back end of the top-30? 30. RHP Marco Raya (19 years old) Season Stats: Yet to Debut Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. His fastball can hit in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in three breaking pitches, including a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. At 6-feet tall and 170 pounds, he isn’t tall on the mound, but he is a good athlete, and the Twins are excited about the promise he shows for the future. Currently, he is on the IL with the FCL Twins. 29. LHP Jovani Moran (24 years old) Season Stats (AA/AAA): 50 IP (26 G), 1.98 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NA Moran has one of the best change-ups in the Twins system, and he has been able to use it to dominate the minor’s upper levels this season. Originally, he was taken by the Twins in the seventh round in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. During July, he struck out nearly 50% of the batter he faced. Right-handed batters have been limited to a .352 OPS against him in 2021. With his success at Triple-A, he seems likely to make his big-league debut before the season's end. 28. LHP Steve Hajjar (21 years old) Season Stats (College): 81.2 IP (14 G), 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.1 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Hajjar was Minnesota’s second-round pick in this year’s draft from the University of Michigan. He signed for the full slot value of $1,129,700 but has yet to make his professional debut. At Michigan, he led the Big Ten with 110 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds, so he is quite the presence on the mound. Typically, his fastball sits in the low-90s, but he can reach the mid-90s with some movement. He mixes in a change-up and a curveball to keep batters off balance. 27. SS Wander Javier (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 76 G, .219/.274/.409 (.683), 9 HR, 12 2B, 9 3B, 33.8 K%, 6.1 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 17, 2021 Preseason: NA Javier was initially signed by the Twins in July 2015, and his name has populated the team’s top prospect lists throughout that time. At one point, he was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball, but he hasn’t put it all together to the point where he has been left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the past two years. He had a tremendous month of June with a .834 OPS, but he struck out 41 times in 112 plate appearances in July. Fans can hope he develops into a five-tool talent, but that dream might have passed at this point. 26. 2B Alerick Soularie (22 years old) Season Stats: Rehab Assignment Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 18, 2021 Preseason: 18 Soularie rolled his ankle during spring training and then broke his foot going down some stairs, which has kept him out of action until late last week. He was taken in the second round in 2020 out of the University of Tennessee and he is 22-years old. Soularie has started his rehab assignment by going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is considered one of the best athletes in the Twins system, and the organization has to be excited to have him back on the field. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions. View full article
  22. 30. RHP Marco Raya (19 years old) Season Stats: Yet to Debut Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. His fastball can hit in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in three breaking pitches, including a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. At 6-feet tall and 170 pounds, he isn’t tall on the mound, but he is a good athlete, and the Twins are excited about the promise he shows for the future. Currently, he is on the IL with the FCL Twins. 29. LHP Jovani Moran (24 years old) Season Stats (AA/AAA): 50 IP (26 G), 1.98 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NA Moran has one of the best change-ups in the Twins system, and he has been able to use it to dominate the minor’s upper levels this season. Originally, he was taken by the Twins in the seventh round in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. During July, he struck out nearly 50% of the batter he faced. Right-handed batters have been limited to a .352 OPS against him in 2021. With his success at Triple-A, he seems likely to make his big-league debut before the season's end. 28. LHP Steve Hajjar (21 years old) Season Stats (College): 81.2 IP (14 G), 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.1 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Hajjar was Minnesota’s second-round pick in this year’s draft from the University of Michigan. He signed for the full slot value of $1,129,700 but has yet to make his professional debut. At Michigan, he led the Big Ten with 110 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds, so he is quite the presence on the mound. Typically, his fastball sits in the low-90s, but he can reach the mid-90s with some movement. He mixes in a change-up and a curveball to keep batters off balance. 27. SS Wander Javier (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 76 G, .219/.274/.409 (.683), 9 HR, 12 2B, 9 3B, 33.8 K%, 6.1 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 17, 2021 Preseason: NA Javier was initially signed by the Twins in July 2015, and his name has populated the team’s top prospect lists throughout that time. At one point, he was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball, but he hasn’t put it all together to the point where he has been left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the past two years. He had a tremendous month of June with a .834 OPS, but he struck out 41 times in 112 plate appearances in July. Fans can hope he develops into a five-tool talent, but that dream might have passed at this point. 26. 2B Alerick Soularie (22 years old) Season Stats: Rehab Assignment Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 18, 2021 Preseason: 18 Soularie rolled his ankle during spring training and then broke his foot going down some stairs, which has kept him out of action until late last week. He was taken in the second round in 2020 out of the University of Tennessee and he is 22-years old. Soularie has started his rehab assignment by going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is considered one of the best athletes in the Twins system, and the organization has to be excited to have him back on the field. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions.
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