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  1. The Twins have been looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder. According to a variety of reports on Monday evening, they acquired a Gold-Glove caliber outfielder, Michael A. Taylor, from the Kansas City Royals. Image courtesy of Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports Since the Minnesota Twins signed Joey Gallo it has looked like the outfield was packed with a glut of left-handed bats. Needing someone on the right hand side of the batter’s box, preferably with an ability to play centerfield, has been a must. Now they have that man in Michael A. Taylor. Michael A. Taylor was a 6th round pick by the Washington Nationals way back in 2009. He spent the bulk of his career there prior to joining the Kansas City Royals two seasons ago. Across 266 games for Kansas City, Taylor has compiled just an 83 OPS+ while slashing .249/.304/.347. If the Twins were only looking for a masher to replace Kyle Garlick, Taylor probably isn’t it. He is as light-hitting as it gets, and had very marginal differences between splits last season. Taylor did hit 12 home runs in 2021, but has never replicated the 19 he blasted in 2017 with the Nationals. Over the course of his career, the .722 OPS against lefties is better than the .660 mark against righties, but we’re grasping at straws there. More importantly for Minnesota, Taylor represents some level of insurance behind Byron Buxton in centerfield. Certainly Joey Gallo can play there, and if Max Kepler remains on the roster he can as well. Both of them are a bit more stretched than Taylor however, as 605 of his 661 career starts have come in centerfield. With the Royals last season, Taylor posted a 1.5 fWAR after a 2.0 mark in 2021. His career best was 3.2 back in 2017, and the bulk of it has always been defensively derived. His 19 defensive runs saved in Kansas City last year pair well with five outs above average. Among centerfielders in 2022, no one posted a higher DRS total than Taylor. Should Buxton go down or miss time, Rocco Baldelli has a surefire defensive star to replace him. The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. The Twins acquired Sisk in exchange for J.A. Happ when they dealt with the St. Louis Cardinals. He lit up the strikeout numbers last season at Triple-A St. Paul, but his walk rates were scary, and Minnesota was clearly never convinced enough to call him up. Cruz has an electric fastball that can touch triple-digits, but he too has struggled with walks and hasn't put it together while reaching Double-A. So, there you have it, the Twins have a right-handed, but not-very-good-hitting outfielder who can play centerfield when Byron Buxton gets days off in the field, which I think this signals we will see a lot of. We will add more details as we learn them, so be sure to check back and let us know what you think of this intra-divisional trade for the Twins. Leave your comments below some Michael A. Taylor highlights from 2022. View full article
  2. Well, someone had to do it. Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports The Twins ate their veggies on Monday, trading away minor league relievers Evan Sisk and Steven Cruz for Royals outfielder Michael A. Taylor. Minnesota’s flirtation with the veteran first hit radars when news slithered in that Kansas City—perhaps under the influence of some real good stuff—asked for Josh Winder in return for their outfielder. The Twins glared around the room with the same look you give when grandma says something out of pocket during family dinner and promptly hung up the phone. Kansas City dropped their ask, instead greenlighting LHP Evan Sisk and RHP Steven Cruz as an acceptable return. Although so tantalizingly close to donning a Twins cap, Sisk remained in the minors for all of 2022. Half of the return for J.A. Happ in 2021—yes, a team gave up real, breathing players for him—Sisk held preposterously low earned run totals at Double-A and Triple-A, but poor command kept him east of the river. He will probably pitch for the Royals in 2023. Cruz is a similar story. The aesthetically ideal big, hard-throwing reliever struck out 28% of batters with Wichita last season but walked 13.6% of them as well; command has always been his bugaboo. No team selected Cruz in the Rule 5 draft, and now the Royals will decide how to fix his aim. Taylor will immediately slot in as Minnesota’s fourth outfielder. A more sure bet than Nick Gordon, or Joey Gallo in center, Taylor owns a strong arm, quick feet, and artful routes; he’s the ultimate defensive package. The Twins will likely start Taylor in center consistently, allowing Byron Buxton to DH on days he feels any sort of malady while Taylor glides around the outfield, allowing Minnesota not to miss a beat defensively. His bat isn’t great—Taylor owns a career .241/.296/.381 slash line—but his league-relative numbers perked up a touch in 2022, perhaps implying he has more in the tank. The big question is this: how in the world do the Twins set up their outfield? With Max Kepler, Buxton, Gallo, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Gordon, Gilberto Celestino, and now Taylor, the team has eight legitimate outfielders for three spots; creativity must be in the cards. Celestino is probably the biggest loser in the deal. With a similar playstyle as the new guy, it's easy to read the trade as a vote of no confidence in him; Minnesota probably grew frustrated with his consistent mental errors, always costing the team an extra base with poor decision-making. The deal likely knocks Celestino down to Triple-A, allowing him to grow as a ballplayer in a less stressful atmosphere. He has yet to celebrate his 24th birthday. This is unlikely to be the final trade for Minnesota. With more outfielders than available spots, dominos will probably fall over the next month. While Kepler appears to be the most apparent trade target—as he has been for about three years now—the Twins could surprise us, instead packaging some of their younger bats in a deal. But who knows? Derek Falvey loves keeping us on our toes. View full article
  3. The Twins ate their veggies on Monday, trading away minor league relievers Evan Sisk and Steven Cruz for Royals outfielder Michael A. Taylor. Minnesota’s flirtation with the veteran first hit radars when news slithered in that Kansas City—perhaps under the influence of some real good stuff—asked for Josh Winder in return for their outfielder. The Twins glared around the room with the same look you give when grandma says something out of pocket during family dinner and promptly hung up the phone. Kansas City dropped their ask, instead greenlighting LHP Evan Sisk and RHP Steven Cruz as an acceptable return. Although so tantalizingly close to donning a Twins cap, Sisk remained in the minors for all of 2022. Half of the return for J.A. Happ in 2021—yes, a team gave up real, breathing players for him—Sisk held preposterously low earned run totals at Double-A and Triple-A, but poor command kept him east of the river. He will probably pitch for the Royals in 2023. Cruz is a similar story. The aesthetically ideal big, hard-throwing reliever struck out 28% of batters with Wichita last season but walked 13.6% of them as well; command has always been his bugaboo. No team selected Cruz in the Rule 5 draft, and now the Royals will decide how to fix his aim. Taylor will immediately slot in as Minnesota’s fourth outfielder. A more sure bet than Nick Gordon, or Joey Gallo in center, Taylor owns a strong arm, quick feet, and artful routes; he’s the ultimate defensive package. The Twins will likely start Taylor in center consistently, allowing Byron Buxton to DH on days he feels any sort of malady while Taylor glides around the outfield, allowing Minnesota not to miss a beat defensively. His bat isn’t great—Taylor owns a career .241/.296/.381 slash line—but his league-relative numbers perked up a touch in 2022, perhaps implying he has more in the tank. The big question is this: how in the world do the Twins set up their outfield? With Max Kepler, Buxton, Gallo, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Gordon, Gilberto Celestino, and now Taylor, the team has eight legitimate outfielders for three spots; creativity must be in the cards. Celestino is probably the biggest loser in the deal. With a similar playstyle as the new guy, it's easy to read the trade as a vote of no confidence in him; Minnesota probably grew frustrated with his consistent mental errors, always costing the team an extra base with poor decision-making. The deal likely knocks Celestino down to Triple-A, allowing him to grow as a ballplayer in a less stressful atmosphere. He has yet to celebrate his 24th birthday. This is unlikely to be the final trade for Minnesota. With more outfielders than available spots, dominos will probably fall over the next month. While Kepler appears to be the most apparent trade target—as he has been for about three years now—the Twins could surprise us, instead packaging some of their younger bats in a deal. But who knows? Derek Falvey loves keeping us on our toes.
  4. Since the Minnesota Twins signed Joey Gallo it has looked like the outfield was packed with a glut of left-handed bats. Needing someone on the right hand side of the batter’s box, preferably with an ability to play centerfield, has been a must. Now they have that man in Michael A. Taylor. Michael A. Taylor was a 6th round pick by the Washington Nationals way back in 2009. He spent the bulk of his career there prior to joining the Kansas City Royals two seasons ago. Across 266 games for Kansas City, Taylor has compiled just an 83 OPS+ while slashing .249/.304/.347. If the Twins were only looking for a masher to replace Kyle Garlick, Taylor probably isn’t it. He is as light-hitting as it gets, and had very marginal differences between splits last season. Taylor did hit 12 home runs in 2021, but has never replicated the 19 he blasted in 2017 with the Nationals. Over the course of his career, the .722 OPS against lefties is better than the .660 mark against righties, but we’re grasping at straws there. More importantly for Minnesota, Taylor represents some level of insurance behind Byron Buxton in centerfield. Certainly Joey Gallo can play there, and if Max Kepler remains on the roster he can as well. Both of them are a bit more stretched than Taylor however, as 605 of his 661 career starts have come in centerfield. With the Royals last season, Taylor posted a 1.5 fWAR after a 2.0 mark in 2021. His career best was 3.2 back in 2017, and the bulk of it has always been defensively derived. His 19 defensive runs saved in Kansas City last year pair well with five outs above average. Among centerfielders in 2022, no one posted a higher DRS total than Taylor. Should Buxton go down or miss time, Rocco Baldelli has a surefire defensive star to replace him. The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. The Twins acquired Sisk in exchange for J.A. Happ when they dealt with the St. Louis Cardinals. He lit up the strikeout numbers last season at Triple-A St. Paul, but his walk rates were scary, and Minnesota was clearly never convinced enough to call him up. Cruz has an electric fastball that can touch triple-digits, but he too has struggled with walks and hasn't put it together while reaching Double-A. So, there you have it, the Twins have a right-handed, but not-very-good-hitting outfielder who can play centerfield when Byron Buxton gets days off in the field, which I think this signals we will see a lot of. We will add more details as we learn them, so be sure to check back and let us know what you think of this intra-divisional trade for the Twins. Leave your comments below some Michael A. Taylor highlights from 2022.
  5. Minnesota protected multiple players before the Rule 5 deadline, but only some players can make the cut. Would losing Steven Cruz come back to haunt the Twins? Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge The 2022 Rule 5 Draft will take place on Wednesday, December 7, as part of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. It will be the first Rule 5 Draft in two years since last year's draft was canceled due to lockout. It also marks the first Rule 5 Draft since rosters expanded to 26 players. This may allow teams the roster flexibility to carry an extra player for the entire season, especially a relief pitcher that has traditionally been easier to hide. In the last Rule 5 Draft, the Twins lost Akil Baddoo and Tyler Wells, who have each had promising starts to their big-league careers. Baddoo posted a 2.0 WAR season as a rookie before struggling in his sophomore campaign. Wells shifted to a starting role for an improving Orioles squad looking to get back into contention. Will Steven Cruz follow a similar path as Baddoo and Wells? Minnesota initially signed Cruz as an international free agent in March 2017 for $30,000. His professional debut came in the Dominican Summer League, where he posted a 3.68 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 16 appearances. He moved stateside in 2018 and saw his strikeout rate jump from 8.0 K/9 to 11.4 K/9 with the GCL Twins. In 2019, he improved with a sub-3.00 ERA and 48 strikeouts across 31 innings for Elizabethton. His walk rate continued to be higher than teams want from a reliever, but he was showcasing some strong strikeout ability. Cruz's first taste of full-season affiliates had to wait until 2021 after the 2020 season was canceled. All but three of his appearances came at Low-A, where he was slightly older than the average age of the competition. In 50 innings, he posted a 4.32 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP and 80 strikeouts. His 14.4 K/9 was a career-high, and his walk rate dropped from 6.7 BB/9 to 5.9 BB/9. He was making improvements, and his stuff was becoming hard to ignore. Minnesota was aggressive with Cruz in 2022 by sending him to Double-A with only two appearances above Low-A on his resume. He pitched the entire season out of Wichita's bullpen with 46 appearances. In 56 innings, he compiled a 5.14 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP and a 72-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His walk rate dropped for the second consecutive season, and he has a 12.1 K/9 for his professional career. He proved he could routinely hit triple-digits with his fastball, and his slider is a solid secondary offering. MLB.com ranks Cruz as the organization's 27th-best prospect with a 75-grade fastball and a 50-grade slider. Even though he is a righty, he held lefties to a .640 OPS with 30 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. Nearly 85% of his plate appearances came against older batters because it was the first time in his career that he was significantly younger than the average age of the competition. There are no guarantees that Cruz will be selected in next week's Rule 5 Draft, but elite fastball and strikeout totals give him a chance. Plenty of non-contending teams across baseball can take flyers on relievers like Cruz that can pay big dividends down the road. Do you think the Twins will regret leaving Cruz unprotected? What can his ceiling be at the big-league level? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  6. The 2022 Rule 5 Draft will take place on Wednesday, December 7, as part of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. It will be the first Rule 5 Draft in two years since last year's draft was canceled due to lockout. It also marks the first Rule 5 Draft since rosters expanded to 26 players. This may allow teams the roster flexibility to carry an extra player for the entire season, especially a relief pitcher that has traditionally been easier to hide. In the last Rule 5 Draft, the Twins lost Akil Baddoo and Tyler Wells, who have each had promising starts to their big-league careers. Baddoo posted a 2.0 WAR season as a rookie before struggling in his sophomore campaign. Wells shifted to a starting role for an improving Orioles squad looking to get back into contention. Will Steven Cruz follow a similar path as Baddoo and Wells? Minnesota initially signed Cruz as an international free agent in March 2017 for $30,000. His professional debut came in the Dominican Summer League, where he posted a 3.68 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 16 appearances. He moved stateside in 2018 and saw his strikeout rate jump from 8.0 K/9 to 11.4 K/9 with the GCL Twins. In 2019, he improved with a sub-3.00 ERA and 48 strikeouts across 31 innings for Elizabethton. His walk rate continued to be higher than teams want from a reliever, but he was showcasing some strong strikeout ability. Cruz's first taste of full-season affiliates had to wait until 2021 after the 2020 season was canceled. All but three of his appearances came at Low-A, where he was slightly older than the average age of the competition. In 50 innings, he posted a 4.32 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP and 80 strikeouts. His 14.4 K/9 was a career-high, and his walk rate dropped from 6.7 BB/9 to 5.9 BB/9. He was making improvements, and his stuff was becoming hard to ignore. Minnesota was aggressive with Cruz in 2022 by sending him to Double-A with only two appearances above Low-A on his resume. He pitched the entire season out of Wichita's bullpen with 46 appearances. In 56 innings, he compiled a 5.14 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP and a 72-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His walk rate dropped for the second consecutive season, and he has a 12.1 K/9 for his professional career. He proved he could routinely hit triple-digits with his fastball, and his slider is a solid secondary offering. MLB.com ranks Cruz as the organization's 27th-best prospect with a 75-grade fastball and a 50-grade slider. Even though he is a righty, he held lefties to a .640 OPS with 30 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. Nearly 85% of his plate appearances came against older batters because it was the first time in his career that he was significantly younger than the average age of the competition. There are no guarantees that Cruz will be selected in next week's Rule 5 Draft, but elite fastball and strikeout totals give him a chance. Plenty of non-contending teams across baseball can take flyers on relievers like Cruz that can pay big dividends down the road. Do you think the Twins will regret leaving Cruz unprotected? What can his ceiling be at the big-league level? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. Minnesota’s current front office regime has tended to rely on internal options to bolster the bullpen. Will any of these prospects join the big-league squad as relievers in 2023? Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports In recent years, the front office has shied away from investing in bullpen options. Joe Smith was the team’s lone free agent signing last winter, and he wasn’t on the club by the season’s end. Minnesota also traded away Taylor Rogers on the eve of Opening Day for Emilio Pagan and Chris Paddack. Jhoan Duran became the team’s top reliever after being a former top prospect. Can any of these players follow in Duran’s footsteps in 2023? Triple-A: Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022), Austin Schulfer (ETA: 2023), Evan Sisk (ETA: 2023) Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the club may still utilize him as a starter in 2023. He split time between both roles at Triple-A last season, and all his big-league innings came as a reliever. As a 22-year-old, there is still time for development, and the Twins hope he can continue to stick as a starter. Schulfer dominated Double-A last season before running into some trouble at Triple-A. He only allowed one earned run in 15 appearances before his promotion. In a six-game span at Triple-A, he allowed nine earned runs and a .982 OPS in 6 2/3 innings to inflate his overall numbers. The 26-year-old struck out nearly ten batters per nine innings for the season and had a 1.04 WHIP. Sisk was one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in the Twins organization last season. The 25-year-old made 50 appearances between Double- and Triple-A with a 1.57 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He posted a 10.9 K/9 and held lefties to a .286 OPS in over 106 at-bats. Surprisingly, he didn’t get an opportunity during the 2022 season, but he should fit into the team’s plans during 2023. Double-A: Denny Bentley (ETA: 2023), Steven Cruz (ETA: 2024), Osiris German (ETA: 2024), Francis Peguero (ETA: 2024) Bentley spent time at High- and Double-A last season while posting a 3.56 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings, so the Twins sent him to the AFL to build off his solid season. Unfortunately, the AFL is a very hitter-friendly environment, and Bentley has struggled with command. The 24-year-old has walked 14 batters in 11 1/3 innings, but it is a small sample size. Cruz (23yo) and German (24yo) were a year and a half younger than the competition at Double-A this season, and both were given the opportunity to pitch in late-inning situations. In his final 34 appearances (50 innings), Cruz had a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts while holding batters to a .680 OPS. German posted a 3.02 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 43 appearances. Both players should get more time at Double-A before moving up the ladder. Minnesota acquired Peguero from the Reds as part of the Sonny Gray trade. Injuries limited him to 17 appearances at Double-A in 2022, so the team sent him to the AFL. In 11 innings, he has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.64 WHIP and 7.4 K/9. High-A: Hunter McMahon (ETA: 2024) Minnesota acquired McMahon back in 2020 from the Nationals for Ryne Harper. As a 24-year-old, he broke out and pitched at three different levels last season. He pitched 70 innings (39 appearances), between Low- and High-A, with a 1.67 ERA with batters hitting .171/.219/.296 (.515) against him. He struggled in a brief taste of Double-A by allowing multiple earned runs in three of his four appearances. To be even more successful, McMahon needs to see his strikeout totals continue to improve. Obviously, there are plenty of relievers throughout the Twins system that aren’t mentioned above. Other starting pitching prospects might shift to bullpen roles if they can’t improve as starters. Some of the best relievers in franchise history (Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Taylor Rogers ) were failed starters that shifted to the bullpen and found their eventual ticket to the big leagues. Duran was used primarily as a starter throughout his professional career before dominating as a reliever last season. Overall, it can be tough to project an organization’s depth at reliever, especially as the role of the pitcher continues to evolve. How many of these relievers will get an opportunity in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  8. In recent years, the front office has shied away from investing in bullpen options. Joe Smith was the team’s lone free agent signing last winter, and he wasn’t on the club by the season’s end. Minnesota also traded away Taylor Rogers on the eve of Opening Day for Emilio Pagan and Chris Paddack. Jhoan Duran became the team’s top reliever after being a former top prospect. Can any of these players follow in Duran’s footsteps in 2023? Triple-A: Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022), Austin Schulfer (ETA: 2023), Evan Sisk (ETA: 2023) Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the club may still utilize him as a starter in 2023. He split time between both roles at Triple-A last season, and all his big-league innings came as a reliever. As a 22-year-old, there is still time for development, and the Twins hope he can continue to stick as a starter. Schulfer dominated Double-A last season before running into some trouble at Triple-A. He only allowed one earned run in 15 appearances before his promotion. In a six-game span at Triple-A, he allowed nine earned runs and a .982 OPS in 6 2/3 innings to inflate his overall numbers. The 26-year-old struck out nearly ten batters per nine innings for the season and had a 1.04 WHIP. Sisk was one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in the Twins organization last season. The 25-year-old made 50 appearances between Double- and Triple-A with a 1.57 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He posted a 10.9 K/9 and held lefties to a .286 OPS in over 106 at-bats. Surprisingly, he didn’t get an opportunity during the 2022 season, but he should fit into the team’s plans during 2023. Double-A: Denny Bentley (ETA: 2023), Steven Cruz (ETA: 2024), Osiris German (ETA: 2024), Francis Peguero (ETA: 2024) Bentley spent time at High- and Double-A last season while posting a 3.56 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings, so the Twins sent him to the AFL to build off his solid season. Unfortunately, the AFL is a very hitter-friendly environment, and Bentley has struggled with command. The 24-year-old has walked 14 batters in 11 1/3 innings, but it is a small sample size. Cruz (23yo) and German (24yo) were a year and a half younger than the competition at Double-A this season, and both were given the opportunity to pitch in late-inning situations. In his final 34 appearances (50 innings), Cruz had a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts while holding batters to a .680 OPS. German posted a 3.02 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 43 appearances. Both players should get more time at Double-A before moving up the ladder. Minnesota acquired Peguero from the Reds as part of the Sonny Gray trade. Injuries limited him to 17 appearances at Double-A in 2022, so the team sent him to the AFL. In 11 innings, he has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.64 WHIP and 7.4 K/9. High-A: Hunter McMahon (ETA: 2024) Minnesota acquired McMahon back in 2020 from the Nationals for Ryne Harper. As a 24-year-old, he broke out and pitched at three different levels last season. He pitched 70 innings (39 appearances), between Low- and High-A, with a 1.67 ERA with batters hitting .171/.219/.296 (.515) against him. He struggled in a brief taste of Double-A by allowing multiple earned runs in three of his four appearances. To be even more successful, McMahon needs to see his strikeout totals continue to improve. Obviously, there are plenty of relievers throughout the Twins system that aren’t mentioned above. Other starting pitching prospects might shift to bullpen roles if they can’t improve as starters. Some of the best relievers in franchise history (Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Taylor Rogers ) were failed starters that shifted to the bullpen and found their eventual ticket to the big leagues. Duran was used primarily as a starter throughout his professional career before dominating as a reliever last season. Overall, it can be tough to project an organization’s depth at reliever, especially as the role of the pitcher continues to evolve. How many of these relievers will get an opportunity in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  9. These are three prospects that have the potential to be a part of the long-term solution for the Twins rotation very soon. Image courtesy of Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports The Twins pitching rotation struggled on and off this season from starters to the bullpen. Injuries early on created a lack of starting pitching for the Club, putting lots of pressure on the bullpen to perform; they also suffered a significant loss with Pitching Coach Wes Johnson leaving mid-way through the season. Because of the pitching woes, Twins fans got a glimpse of what the farm system has in store by bringing up players such as Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic. The arms in the farm system give hope that the Twin's pitching could match the Guardian's deep farm pitching model. Brayan Medina He is focused and driven but has components that will need to improve if he wants to make his appearance in 2023. He was the top Venezuelan pitching prospect in the 2019-20 international class. Medina initially signed with the Padres for $700,000 on July 2, 2019. The Twins acquired him as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker to the Padres. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, so Medina spent some time in San Diego's fall instructional camp. He had his professional debut in 2021 with the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Fall League. He has three pitches: slider, fastball, and changeup. His pitches already have good velocity, and as he grows from his 6'1", 180-pound frame, he should be able to add a bit more velocity in the future. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches the upper-90s on occasion. He also throws an above-average slider, and his slider continues to improve. Medina has focused delivery and the ability to be aggressive with hitters. In seven starts, he struck out 24 in 23 2/3 innings in 2022 with the FCL Twins. Medina never saw over three innings a game in 2022. For every one strike out, he allowed two walks. He posted a 6.46 ERA, 17 earned runs, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 24-to-20. Medina is only 20 years old and has plenty of room to grow in size and craft. The concern with Medina is the high pitch count, working himself out of the game sooner putting more pressure on the bullpen. If Medina can garner control of these pitches and perfect them, he is equipped with the proper elements but needs to work heavily on his plate command to bring his ERA and walk down. Steven Cruz If Cruz can harness his control and improve on his strike zone, there is potential for him to make an appearance in 2023. The Twins signed Cruz back in March 2017 for just $30,000 as an international free agent. He spent his first two seasons playing with the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League, Elizabethton Twins. In 2021 he started in Single-A Fort Myers and, late in the season, was promoted to High-A Kernels. After two starts with the Kernels, he struggled to harness his control, posting an 8.10 ERA in 3 1/3 innings; the Twins sent him back down to focus on improving. He finished the 2021 season with Fort Myers and, in 2022, was sent to AA Wichita Surge posting a 5.14 ERA and 72-to-35 Strikeout to Walk ratio. Finding the strike zone has been Cruz back; the right-hander walked more than six batters per nine innings early in his Minor League career. The 6-foot-7 Cruz has a ton of power and throws his fastball in the 95-101 mph range, and it's a pitch with some riding life. He also has a hard slider, thrown around 89 mph, a potential out pitch that can miss a lot of bats. His walk rate continues to trend down each year, and his strike count over nine innings continues to increase. How much he can refine his control and strike zone will determine whether he can handle a high-leverage role in the future. Marco Raya The 2022 season was the first time Raya pitched in affiliated games since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 Draft due to a shoulder strain that sidelined him for most of the 2021 season. Raya returned more robust and better after his injury and didn't disappoint, throwing extremely well with Single-A Fort Myers with three wins, two losses. At 6-foot, 165-pound, what right-handed pitcher lacks in size; he makes up for with athleticism. He's got a few pitches in his arsenal that rely on a big four-seamer alongside three high-quality curveballs, a slider, and a changeup with great pitch profiles. The Twins feel like there's only a little work needed on those. His fastball continued to sit in the high 90's in the 2022 season, hitting 98. If Raya can stay healthy, he will be one of the system's best pitchers. At 19 years old, in his first season with Fort Myers in 2022, he posted a 3.05 ERA and had a 76-to-23 Strikeout-to-Walk ratio over 65 innings. With less than four walks per nine innings and over ten strikeouts, Raya doesn't hold back. Raya pitches with a chip on his shoulder. The chip on his shoulder may have helped him make significant strides in his mental development toward the close of 2021. Like many young pitchers, the Twins hope he'll simplify and attack the strike zone with his quality stuff, which he's done in the past. Moving to AA would be a big jump, and with a small sample size, inviting him to spring training would give the organization an opportunity to see if he has the tenacity to jump directly over the Kernels. Do you think these prospects could see action with the Twins in 2023, or are they more suited for High-A? View full article
  10. The Twins pitching rotation struggled on and off this season from starters to the bullpen. Injuries early on created a lack of starting pitching for the Club, putting lots of pressure on the bullpen to perform; they also suffered a significant loss with Pitching Coach Wes Johnson leaving mid-way through the season. Because of the pitching woes, Twins fans got a glimpse of what the farm system has in store by bringing up players such as Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic. The arms in the farm system give hope that the Twin's pitching could match the Guardian's deep farm pitching model. Brayan Medina He is focused and driven but has components that will need to improve if he wants to make his appearance in 2023. He was the top Venezuelan pitching prospect in the 2019-20 international class. Medina initially signed with the Padres for $700,000 on July 2, 2019. The Twins acquired him as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker to the Padres. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, so Medina spent some time in San Diego's fall instructional camp. He had his professional debut in 2021 with the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Fall League. He has three pitches: slider, fastball, and changeup. His pitches already have good velocity, and as he grows from his 6'1", 180-pound frame, he should be able to add a bit more velocity in the future. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches the upper-90s on occasion. He also throws an above-average slider, and his slider continues to improve. Medina has focused delivery and the ability to be aggressive with hitters. In seven starts, he struck out 24 in 23 2/3 innings in 2022 with the FCL Twins. Medina never saw more than three innings in a game in 2022. He posted a 6.46 ERA, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 24-to-20. Medina is only 20 years old and has plenty of room to grow in size and craft. The concern with Medina is the high pitch count due to lack of control, working himself out of the game sooner and putting more pressure on the bullpen. If Medina can garner control of his pitches and perfect them, he is equipped with the proper elements but needs to work heavily on his plate command to bring his ERA and walk down. Steven Cruz If Cruz can harness his control and improve on his strike zone, there is potential for him to make an appearance in 2023. The Twins signed Cruz back in March 2017 for just $30,000 as an international free agent. He spent his first two seasons playing with the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League, Elizabethton Twins. In 2021 he started in Single-A Fort Myers and, late in the season, was promoted to High-A Kernels. After two starts with the Kernels, he struggled to harness his control, posting an 8.10 ERA in 3 1/3 innings; the Twins sent him back down to focus on improving. He finished the 2021 season with Fort Myers and, in 2022, was sent to AA Wichita Surge posting a 5.14 ERA and 72-to-35 Strikeout to Walk ratio. Finding the strike zone has been Cruz back; the right-hander walked more than six batters per nine innings early in his Minor League career. The 6-foot-7 Cruz has a ton of power and throws his fastball in the 95-101 mph range, and it's a pitch with some riding life. He also has a hard slider, thrown around 89 mph, a potential out pitch that can miss a lot of bats. His walk rate continues to trend down each year, and his strike count over nine innings continues to increase. How much he can refine his control and strike zone will determine whether he can handle a high-leverage role in the future. Marco Raya The 2022 season was the first time Raya pitched in affiliated games since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft due to a shoulder strain that sidelined him for most of the 2021 season. Raya returned more robust and better after his injury and didn't disappoint, throwing extremely well with Single-A Fort Myers with three wins and two losses. At six feet tall and 165-pounds, what the right-handed pitcher lacks in size, he makes up for with athleticism and pure stuff. He's got a few pitches in his arsenal and relies on a big four-seamer alongside a high-quality curveball, a slider, and a changeup with great pitch profiles. The Twins feel like there's only a little work needed on those. His fastball continued to sit in the high 90s in the 2022 season, hitting 98. If Raya can stay healthy, he will be one of the system's best pitchers. At 19 years old, in his first season with Fort Myers, he posted a 3.05 ERA and had a 76-to-23 Strikeout-to-Walk ratio over 65 innings. With less than four walks per nine innings and over ten strikeouts, Raya doesn't hold back. Raya pitches with a chip on his shoulder. The chip may have helped him make significant strides in his development toward the close of 2021. Like many young pitchers, the Twins hope he'll simplify and attack the strike zone with his quality stuff, which he's done in the past. Moving to Double-A would be a big jump, and with a small sample size, inviting him to spring training would give the organization an opportunity to see if he has the tenacity to jump directly over the Kernels. Do you think these prospects could see action with the Twins in 2023? Probably not, but what are your thoughts on these pitchers and which pitchers do you anticipate breaking out in 2023?
  11. Baseball’s evolution points to players throwing harder than ever, so which Twins prospects have the organization's most effective fastballs? In recent years, multiple prospects across baseball have used new technology and data to help refine their delivery to add something to their fastball. A middle-level prospect with a low-graded fastball can add movement and velocity to start moving up prospect lists. The pitches below rank on the 20-80 scouting scale, and most of these fastballs are big-league ready. 5. Matt Canterino, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 55/55 Minnesota selected Canterino from Rice University back in 2019 with the team’s second-round pick. His fastball sits from 91-96 mph but can top out at 98 mph. Last season, he struck out 45 batters in 23 innings. However, he has pitched fewer than 50 professional innings due to multiple IL trips. He has the pitch mix to be a starter at the big-league level, but many believe he will wind up serving in a relief role because of his health concerns. He just turned 24-years-old this winter, so the 2022 campaign will be important in deciding his role as he gets closer to the big-league level. 4. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 55/55 Balazovic pitched a career-high 97 innings last season, and he was over 2.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at Double-A. He was inconsistent throughout the 2021 campaign, but there were flashes of brilliance. His fastball sits in the 93-96 mph range, and he can top out at 97 mph. Some of the other names on this list will end up in the bullpen, but Balazovic still projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, which has plenty of future value. Since he is already on the 40-man roster, there is a good chance Balazovic will make his big-league debut in 2022. 3. Jhoan Duran, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 60/60 Duran’s fastball is electric, as he showed last year by hitting over 100 mph at Triple-A. Typically, he sits in the 95-99 range, but he can reach over 100 mph if he rears back and gets the adrenaline pumping. He missed most of the 2021 season with a forearm strain, and there’s potential for him to end up as a bullpen arm. Even with his high velocity, his fastball doesn’t lead to a high strikeout rate, similar to former Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol. If healthy, Duran can get another opportunity to start, but it’s hard not to consider him a bullpen option as soon as 2022. 2. Steven Cruz, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 70/70 Cruz has been in the Twins organization since signing as an international free agent in 2017. Last season, his fastball sat at 95-99 mph while topping out at 101 mph. He doesn’t rank as one of Minnesota’s top pitching prospects because he seems destined for a bullpen role. His command is lacking (5.9 BB/9), but his fastball-slider combination may be enough to be a useful relief arm at the big-league level. Last season, he posted a 14.4 SO/9 between Low- and High-A. To continue to move up the ladder, he will need to harness some of his erratic control. 1. Joe Ryan, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 70/70 Ryan’s fastball has been discussed in depth since he was traded to the Twins last July. He sits 90-94 mph while topping out at 96 mph. While that might not be as impressive as others on this list, his secondary characteristics separate his fastball from the others. He struck out over 35% of the batters he faced in the minors, and the team saw him transition that success to the big-league level. One of the concerns with Ryan is how frequently he uses his fastball, so it will be interesting to track his pitch usage throughout the 2022 campaign. Who do you think has the best fastball in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power Tool Prospects — Top Hit Tool Prospects — Top Speed Tool Prospects 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
  12. In recent years, multiple prospects across baseball have used new technology and data to help refine their delivery to add something to their fastball. A middle-level prospect with a low-graded fastball can add movement and velocity to start moving up prospect lists. The pitches below rank on the 20-80 scouting scale, and most of these fastballs are big-league ready. 5. Matt Canterino, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 55/55 Minnesota selected Canterino from Rice University back in 2019 with the team’s second-round pick. His fastball sits from 91-96 mph but can top out at 98 mph. Last season, he struck out 45 batters in 23 innings. However, he has pitched fewer than 50 professional innings due to multiple IL trips. He has the pitch mix to be a starter at the big-league level, but many believe he will wind up serving in a relief role because of his health concerns. He just turned 24-years-old this winter, so the 2022 campaign will be important in deciding his role as he gets closer to the big-league level. 4. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 55/55 Balazovic pitched a career-high 97 innings last season, and he was over 2.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at Double-A. He was inconsistent throughout the 2021 campaign, but there were flashes of brilliance. His fastball sits in the 93-96 mph range, and he can top out at 97 mph. Some of the other names on this list will end up in the bullpen, but Balazovic still projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, which has plenty of future value. Since he is already on the 40-man roster, there is a good chance Balazovic will make his big-league debut in 2022. 3. Jhoan Duran, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 60/60 Duran’s fastball is electric, as he showed last year by hitting over 100 mph at Triple-A. Typically, he sits in the 95-99 range, but he can reach over 100 mph if he rears back and gets the adrenaline pumping. He missed most of the 2021 season with a forearm strain, and there’s potential for him to end up as a bullpen arm. Even with his high velocity, his fastball doesn’t lead to a high strikeout rate, similar to former Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol. If healthy, Duran can get another opportunity to start, but it’s hard not to consider him a bullpen option as soon as 2022. 2. Steven Cruz, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 70/70 Cruz has been in the Twins organization since signing as an international free agent in 2017. Last season, his fastball sat at 95-99 mph while topping out at 101 mph. He doesn’t rank as one of Minnesota’s top pitching prospects because he seems destined for a bullpen role. His command is lacking (5.9 BB/9), but his fastball-slider combination may be enough to be a useful relief arm at the big-league level. Last season, he posted a 14.4 SO/9 between Low- and High-A. To continue to move up the ladder, he will need to harness some of his erratic control. 1. Joe Ryan, RHP Current Fastball/Future Fastball: 70/70 Ryan’s fastball has been discussed in depth since he was traded to the Twins last July. He sits 90-94 mph while topping out at 96 mph. While that might not be as impressive as others on this list, his secondary characteristics separate his fastball from the others. He struck out over 35% of the batters he faced in the minors, and the team saw him transition that success to the big-league level. One of the concerns with Ryan is how frequently he uses his fastball, so it will be interesting to track his pitch usage throughout the 2022 campaign. Who do you think has the best fastball in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power Tool Prospects — Top Hit Tool Prospects — Top Speed Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. Prospect lists are fun to look at and review. I think that they’re fun because they can be questioned and discussed. As mentioned yesterday, I’ve separated the pitchers and hitters to get rid of one question, that being how do you compare pitchers to hitters? But still, how do you rank an 18-year-old who played in the FCL to a 25-year-old at Double-A? Prospect rankings are far from a perfect science, but if nothing else, it gives us the opportunity to discuss more players and give them the recognition that they deserve. Hopefully you find this entertaining and also gives you the opportunity to learn about some new Twins prospects. #30 - RHP Steven Cruz 2021 STATS: 4-2, 4.32 ERA, 28/2 G/GS, 1.36 WHIP, 80/33 K/BB, 50.0 IP If you like velocity, then you should really like Steven Cruz. The 6-7 right-hander from the Dominican Republic frequently topped 100 mph in 2021, topping out at 102 mph. There are times, as you would expect, when he gets a little wild with his fastball and his improving secondary pitches. However, 80 strikeouts in 50 innings is certainly noteworthy. He spent the season in Ft. Myers with just a couple of appearances in Cedar Rapids late in the season. Cruz signed back in March of 2017 and will turn 23 in June. #29 - RHP Luis Rijo 2021 STATS: 0-0, 9.95 ERA, 4/2 G/GS, 2.53 WHIP, 7/6 K/BB, 6.1 IP Luis Rijo came to the Twins in the July 2018 trade from the Yankees for Lance Lynn. He looked really good in 2019 with Low-A Cedar Rapids. He was always known for being a good control pitcher with quality secondary pitches but that season he was suddenly touching 95-96 with a fastball. He lost the 2020 season, and after attempting to return from elbow issues a couple of times, his season came to an end when he had Tommy John surgery. He will be just 23 throughout the 2022 season, but he likely won’t pitch and if he does it would be a few innings late. He has a ton of potential. The concern is that he becomes a free agent after the 2022 season. #28 - RHP Travis Adams 2021 STATS: 0-1, 20.25 ERA, 1/1 G/GS, 3.00 WHIP, 3/2 K/BB, 1.1 IP Adams pitched in just one game in the FCL late in the 2021 season. He had already made 14 starts for Sacramento State before the Twins made him their sixth round pick. In his 79 1/3 innings in college, he walked just 16 and struck out 72 batters. He’s got a good, smooth delivery with a low-90s fastball. He also has a really good changeup and command of both pitches. He is developing a curveball that has shown some potential. He certainly profiles as a starter. Adams will turn 22 in January. #27 - RHP Tyler Beck 2021 STATS: 3-4, 3.00 ERA, 19/13 G/GS, 1.12 WHIP, 91/30 K/BB, 84.0 IP Tyler Beck had a long and circuitous route to professional baseball, but after helping the University of Tampa to a national championship, the Twins drafted him in 2019. He began the 2021 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels either starting or working in a piggyback role, and he pitched well. His fastball is in the low-90s, and he’s got a really good split-finger/sinker/changeup and mixes his pitches and velocities. He ended the season in Double-A Wichita but soon started experiencing some elbow pain and had Tommy John in the offseason. He hopes to get some innings late in the 2022 season. He is 26 years old. #26 - RHP Ben Gross 2021 STATS: 5-4, 4.06 ERA, 21/17 G/GS, 1.37 WHIP, 122/32 K/BB, 95.1 IP Ben Gross graduated from Princeton in three years and then spent his senior season at Duke. The Twins drafted him in the tenth round in 2019. After a missed 2020 season, Gross was a starter for High-A Cedar Rapids in 2021. He also pitched well and was durable. With Cedar Rapids, he had 106 strikeouts and just 23 walks over 82 innings. He was then promoted to Wichita late in the season and got some innings out of the bullpen. He had 16 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old is mostly a fastball thrower in the low-90s. He’s got a good curveball and a changeup. He also has a strong idea of what he wants to do on the mound. I think this is an interesting group of players ranked, and maybe you agree. There are a couple of older, senior-sign pitchers who have found success in High-A ball and touched Double-A in their first full season of pro ball. We have an intriguing pick from the 2021 draft. Luis Rijo has a high ceiling, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2021, so we can’t be sure how much he (or Tyler Beck) will pitch in 2022. And finally, Steven Cruz could go up and down the rankings. He may be ‘just’ a reliever, but when a guy can throw 102, he becomes intriguing. He’s still fairly young. Please feel free to add comments to this discussion and ask questions about players or rankings.
  14. Yesterday, I started a new series, looking at 60 Twins prospects, 30 hitters and 30 pitchers. In Part 1, we looked at the hitters that I rank 26-30. Today, I’ll start reviewing Twins pitchers, starting with my rankings as the Twins #26-30 pitchers. Prospect lists are fun to look at and review. I think that they’re fun because they can be questioned and discussed. As mentioned yesterday, I’ve separated the pitchers and hitters to get rid of one question, that being how do you compare pitchers to hitters? But still, how do you rank an 18-year-old who played in the FCL to a 25-year-old at Double-A? Prospect rankings are far from a perfect science, but if nothing else, it gives us the opportunity to discuss more players and give them the recognition that they deserve. Hopefully you find this entertaining and also gives you the opportunity to learn about some new Twins prospects. #30 - RHP Steven Cruz 2021 STATS: 4-2, 4.32 ERA, 28/2 G/GS, 1.36 WHIP, 80/33 K/BB, 50.0 IP If you like velocity, then you should really like Steven Cruz. The 6-7 right-hander from the Dominican Republic frequently topped 100 mph in 2021, topping out at 102 mph. There are times, as you would expect, when he gets a little wild with his fastball and his improving secondary pitches. However, 80 strikeouts in 50 innings is certainly noteworthy. He spent the season in Ft. Myers with just a couple of appearances in Cedar Rapids late in the season. Cruz signed back in March of 2017 and will turn 23 in June. #29 - RHP Luis Rijo 2021 STATS: 0-0, 9.95 ERA, 4/2 G/GS, 2.53 WHIP, 7/6 K/BB, 6.1 IP Luis Rijo came to the Twins in the July 2018 trade from the Yankees for Lance Lynn. He looked really good in 2019 with Low-A Cedar Rapids. He was always known for being a good control pitcher with quality secondary pitches but that season he was suddenly touching 95-96 with a fastball. He lost the 2020 season, and after attempting to return from elbow issues a couple of times, his season came to an end when he had Tommy John surgery. He will be just 23 throughout the 2022 season, but he likely won’t pitch and if he does it would be a few innings late. He has a ton of potential. The concern is that he becomes a free agent after the 2022 season. #28 - RHP Travis Adams 2021 STATS: 0-1, 20.25 ERA, 1/1 G/GS, 3.00 WHIP, 3/2 K/BB, 1.1 IP Adams pitched in just one game in the FCL late in the 2021 season. He had already made 14 starts for Sacramento State before the Twins made him their sixth round pick. In his 79 1/3 innings in college, he walked just 16 and struck out 72 batters. He’s got a good, smooth delivery with a low-90s fastball. He also has a really good changeup and command of both pitches. He is developing a curveball that has shown some potential. He certainly profiles as a starter. Adams will turn 22 in January. #27 - RHP Tyler Beck 2021 STATS: 3-4, 3.00 ERA, 19/13 G/GS, 1.12 WHIP, 91/30 K/BB, 84.0 IP Tyler Beck had a long and circuitous route to professional baseball, but after helping the University of Tampa to a national championship, the Twins drafted him in 2019. He began the 2021 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels either starting or working in a piggyback role, and he pitched well. His fastball is in the low-90s, and he’s got a really good split-finger/sinker/changeup and mixes his pitches and velocities. He ended the season in Double-A Wichita but soon started experiencing some elbow pain and had Tommy John in the offseason. He hopes to get some innings late in the 2022 season. He is 26 years old. #26 - RHP Ben Gross 2021 STATS: 5-4, 4.06 ERA, 21/17 G/GS, 1.37 WHIP, 122/32 K/BB, 95.1 IP Ben Gross graduated from Princeton in three years and then spent his senior season at Duke. The Twins drafted him in the tenth round in 2019. After a missed 2020 season, Gross was a starter for High-A Cedar Rapids in 2021. He also pitched well and was durable. With Cedar Rapids, he had 106 strikeouts and just 23 walks over 82 innings. He was then promoted to Wichita late in the season and got some innings out of the bullpen. He had 16 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old is mostly a fastball thrower in the low-90s. He’s got a good curveball and a changeup. He also has a strong idea of what he wants to do on the mound. I think this is an interesting group of players ranked, and maybe you agree. There are a couple of older, senior-sign pitchers who have found success in High-A ball and touched Double-A in their first full season of pro ball. We have an intriguing pick from the 2021 draft. Luis Rijo has a high ceiling, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2021, so we can’t be sure how much he (or Tyler Beck) will pitch in 2022. And finally, Steven Cruz could go up and down the rankings. He may be ‘just’ a reliever, but when a guy can throw 102, he becomes intriguing. He’s still fairly young. Please feel free to add comments to this discussion and ask questions about players or rankings. View full article
  15. The final four rounds of our draft were all about filling out our rosters and hoping to find those diamonds in the rough nobody else was looking at for positions of need. I’d wager there’s some names you had forgotten about in these final picks, and plenty of other guys you’ve read about in our Minor League reports.I can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of my thought process into these final picks was about seeing where I could shuffle anybody else around if I had a personal cheeseball I wanted on my team. As these picks complete our rosters, let us know who you think did the best in the comments, and be on the lookout tomorrow for a full summary! If you missed the rest of the draft, you can view rounds 1-4 here, 5-8 here, and 9-12 here. A brief reminder: We're taking 16 players who still hold "prospect" or "rookie" status in the Twins organization. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under each pick were made by the person making the selection.) Round 13 Seth Stohs - Taylor Grzelakowski, C “Gelly” had a tough 2019 season in Pensacola after a great 2018 in Ft. Myers. A lot of the issue was an ankle injury that he had previous surgery on. It wasn’t recovering well. There was a lot of pain which actually kept him from catching much. But that was taken care of and this spring he said he was feeling great. I’ll take this bat behind the plate. (Get to Know Taylor Grzelakowski) Steve Lein - Andrew Bechtold DH Hoped Gelly would slide to my next pick for the reasons Seth mentions, oh well! I'll take a similar potential bat with Bechtold. Gets on base at a good clip, finishing 2nd in the organization in walks in 2019 with a .359 OBP across Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. (Get to Know Andrew Bechtold) Ted Schwerzler - Jake Reed RH RP Jake Reed had an awful 2019, no way around it. He’s got a new arm slot and the walk rate is ugly. Beyond that though, he’s got an electric fastball and can sit batters down in bunches. He keeps the ball in the yard and owned a sub 2.00 ERA in 2018. (Twins Prospect Spotlight: Jake Reed, 2019 Killebrew Award Winner – Jake Reed) Cody Christie - Steven Cruz, RH RP Cruz posted some big strikeout numbers last season with the E-Twins (13.9 K/9) and I need a strikeout arm to put in my bullpen. His walk rate could improve, but he’s only pitched a little over 86 professional innings so far. Hopefully, he can continue to strike out batters as he climbs the ladder. (Get to Know: Osiris German, Steve Cruz, and Frandy Torres) Jeremy Nygaard - Jared Akins DH Akins provides me a lefty bat (which I’m short in) with a little bit of pop (11 home runs last year). Akins also put up over 10 steals last year, which fits my theme to have a team that is active on the basepaths. Getting on base can be an issue for Akins, though, who had an OBP of .265 last year. (MiLB Hitter of the Month – May 2019: Jared Akins #5) Matt Braun - Tyler Webb, OF Considering the fact that Webb was a 40th round pick, the fact that he has already hit Cedar Rapids is kind of amazing. He brings a solid OBP to the lineup and can afford to pass on the power as there are other boppers who will make up for it. (Get to Know Tyler Webb) Round 14 Matt Braun - Cody Laweryson, Pitcher I saw that Cody wanted Laweryson so I took him instead. Laweryson was dominant with Elizabethton as he struck out nearly 40% of batters faced in his short time there. I’m banking on that immense strikeout potential to continue developing as he moves through the minors. (2019 MiLB Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Cody Laweryson) Jeremy Nygaard - Benjamin Dum RP Despite going undrafted and being signed out of the Indy League - hey, we’ve seen this before - Dum put up a stupid 20:0 K:BB ratio in 14 innings of affiliated ball. You may argue that a few of my picks may have “been dumb”; this one literally is, but I like his numbers albeit only in rookie ball. Cody Christie - Tyler Watson, LHP Watson came to the Twins in the Brandon Kintzler deal back at the 2017 deadline. He spent all of last season in Fort Myers and he’s still only 23-years old. I needed a left-handed arm for my pitching staff and he has posted some good numbers in his time with the Nationals and Twins. Ted Schwerzler - Ryan Mason RHP A 13th round pick in 2016, Ryan Mason took a big step forwards last season. He has consistently produced low ERA’s and avoided free passes since entering pro ball. In his first taste of Double-A action though, he posted a 2.35 ERA with an 11.0 K/9. If those numbers are substantiated in 2020 and beyond, he’ll be a legitimate contender for a big league bullpen spot. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Ryan Mason #1, 5 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Cody Stashak) Steve Lein - Andrew Vasquez RP I need a lefty in my bullpen, and despite his struggles in 2019 in part due to a shoulder injury, it's hard to ignore Vasquez's potential. He shot up the system in 2018 from Single-A to make his MLB debut while striking out nearly everybody along the way with his slider heavy approach. I like getting him here as a big time bounce back candidate. (Get to Know Andrew Vasquez, 2018 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez) Seth Stohs - Parker Phillips, 1B He was the Twins 27th round pick a year ago out of Austin Peay where he hit 56 homers over his three seasons (including 25 in 2019). He added six more home runs as a pro last year. Round 15 Seth Stohs - Charlie Barnes, LHP The Twins drafted Barnes in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson. In 2019, he split time between Ft. Myers and Pensacola, and he also made four starts for Rochester. The Twins invited him to big league camp this spring. (Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcast – Episode 5) Steve Lein - Albee Weiss 1B At this point I'm looking for any big tools that are left, and Weiss has one with his power. He was fourth in the Appy League last year with a .604 slugging percentage. Lots of K's so far, but when he connects there's a good chance the ball is leaving the yard. This pick will slide Kirilloff into the outfield and complete my lineup. (2019 MiLB Short Season Hitter of the Year: Albee Weiss #5) Ted Schwerzler - Trevor Casanova C Taking my bench bat here and using it on a left-handed hitting catcher. Casanova hasn’t hit for power yet in pro ball, and he put up an ugly average last year as well. However, he showed a strong ability to draw walks and if he can better the bat to ball skills, this could be a key guy to work a good plate appearance. (Get to Know Trevor Casanova) (Seth Note - Back-to-Back Cal State-Northridge teammates in Weiss and Casanova) Cody Christie - Evan Gillespie, LH RP Gillespie was old for the GCL last season, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers he put up in his professional debut. My bullpen was lacking a lefty and he finished as an honorable mention in the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Sign me up. Jeremy Nygaard - Austin Schulfer RHRP Went with a Wisconsin guy with my second-to-last pick. Schulfer strikes a lot of guys out, but he also issues a fair amount of walks as well. (Prospect Spotlight Series: Austin Schulfur, Get to Know Podcast: Austin Schulfur, Caleb Hamilton, Nick Anderson) Matt Braun - Adam Bray, RHRP Bray was great at AA last season but his peripherals dropped when he made the move to AAA. I’m banking on the major league ball being the problem there. Bray rounds out a relief corps that has no lefties but I’m banking on the three batter minimum making that shortcoming less impactful. (Spring Trade Brings Bray Back Home) Round 16 Matt Braun - Luis Baez, Hitter Did you know that Luis Baez had the 6th highest wRC+ among all hitters in the Twins system with at least 50 plate appearances? Yeah, I didn’t either until I did some research and I had to pick up that kind of offensive upside with my very last pick. Jeremy Nygaard - Kidany Salva C Switch-hitter who threw out over 30% of potential base stealers in 2019. Has a ways to go offensively. Cody Christie - Ricky De La Torre, UTL De La Torre had an OPS of 700+ in his first two professional seasons when he was over two year younger than the average age of the competition in the GCL and the Appy League. The Twins pushed him to Cedar Rapids last year and he had some offensive struggles for the first time in his career. He can play multiple defensive positions and I like how he completes my roster. Ted Schwerzler - Ben Gross RHP Gross was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft. His college track record isn’t long and he was a senior sign out of Duke. Working as a starter in his pro debut, Gross could eventually transition to the pen. It looks like there’s strikeout stuff here, and that could help to accelerate his path to the majors. Steve Lein - Alex Phillips RP Phillips absolutely dominated the Florida State League (0.79 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 11.6 K/9) while being shuffled to and from Pensacola during last season, where he had some adjustments to make. But for his efforts overall he was an honorable mention in our Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Alex Phillips #2) Seth Stohs - Carlos Aguiar, Hitter Last pick, frankly, I am just going with my highest ranked prospect. Like Wander Valdez, Aguiar is incredibly impressive in person. He’s huge, strong, massive power potential, and incredibly young and has a long ways to go. I’ll take the upside. (Seth’s Spring Training Standouts: 2020 Edition) MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  16. I can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of my thought process into these final picks was about seeing where I could shuffle anybody else around if I had a personal cheeseball I wanted on my team. As these picks complete our rosters, let us know who you think did the best in the comments, and be on the lookout tomorrow for a full summary! If you missed the rest of the draft, you can view rounds 1-4 here, 5-8 here, and 9-12 here. A brief reminder: We're taking 16 players who still hold "prospect" or "rookie" status in the Twins organization. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under each pick were made by the person making the selection.) Round 13 Seth Stohs - Taylor Grzelakowski, C “Gelly” had a tough 2019 season in Pensacola after a great 2018 in Ft. Myers. A lot of the issue was an ankle injury that he had previous surgery on. It wasn’t recovering well. There was a lot of pain which actually kept him from catching much. But that was taken care of and this spring he said he was feeling great. I’ll take this bat behind the plate. (Get to Know Taylor Grzelakowski) Steve Lein - Andrew Bechtold DH Hoped Gelly would slide to my next pick for the reasons Seth mentions, oh well! I'll take a similar potential bat with Bechtold. Gets on base at a good clip, finishing 2nd in the organization in walks in 2019 with a .359 OBP across Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. (Get to Know Andrew Bechtold) Ted Schwerzler - Jake Reed RH RP Jake Reed had an awful 2019, no way around it. He’s got a new arm slot and the walk rate is ugly. Beyond that though, he’s got an electric fastball and can sit batters down in bunches. He keeps the ball in the yard and owned a sub 2.00 ERA in 2018. (Twins Prospect Spotlight: Jake Reed, 2019 Killebrew Award Winner – Jake Reed) Cody Christie - Steven Cruz, RH RP Cruz posted some big strikeout numbers last season with the E-Twins (13.9 K/9) and I need a strikeout arm to put in my bullpen. His walk rate could improve, but he’s only pitched a little over 86 professional innings so far. Hopefully, he can continue to strike out batters as he climbs the ladder. (Get to Know: Osiris German, Steve Cruz, and Frandy Torres) Jeremy Nygaard - Jared Akins DH Akins provides me a lefty bat (which I’m short in) with a little bit of pop (11 home runs last year). Akins also put up over 10 steals last year, which fits my theme to have a team that is active on the basepaths. Getting on base can be an issue for Akins, though, who had an OBP of .265 last year. (MiLB Hitter of the Month – May 2019: Jared Akins #5) Matt Braun - Tyler Webb, OF Considering the fact that Webb was a 40th round pick, the fact that he has already hit Cedar Rapids is kind of amazing. He brings a solid OBP to the lineup and can afford to pass on the power as there are other boppers who will make up for it. (Get to Know Tyler Webb) Round 14 Matt Braun - Cody Laweryson, Pitcher I saw that Cody wanted Laweryson so I took him instead. Laweryson was dominant with Elizabethton as he struck out nearly 40% of batters faced in his short time there. I’m banking on that immense strikeout potential to continue developing as he moves through the minors. (2019 MiLB Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Cody Laweryson) Jeremy Nygaard - Benjamin Dum RP Despite going undrafted and being signed out of the Indy League - hey, we’ve seen this before - Dum put up a stupid 20:0 K:BB ratio in 14 innings of affiliated ball. You may argue that a few of my picks may have “been dumb”; this one literally is, but I like his numbers albeit only in rookie ball. Cody Christie - Tyler Watson, LHP Watson came to the Twins in the Brandon Kintzler deal back at the 2017 deadline. He spent all of last season in Fort Myers and he’s still only 23-years old. I needed a left-handed arm for my pitching staff and he has posted some good numbers in his time with the Nationals and Twins. Ted Schwerzler - Ryan Mason RHP A 13th round pick in 2016, Ryan Mason took a big step forwards last season. He has consistently produced low ERA’s and avoided free passes since entering pro ball. In his first taste of Double-A action though, he posted a 2.35 ERA with an 11.0 K/9. If those numbers are substantiated in 2020 and beyond, he’ll be a legitimate contender for a big league bullpen spot. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Ryan Mason #1, 5 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Cody Stashak) Steve Lein - Andrew Vasquez RP I need a lefty in my bullpen, and despite his struggles in 2019 in part due to a shoulder injury, it's hard to ignore Vasquez's potential. He shot up the system in 2018 from Single-A to make his MLB debut while striking out nearly everybody along the way with his slider heavy approach. I like getting him here as a big time bounce back candidate. (Get to Know Andrew Vasquez, 2018 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez) Seth Stohs - Parker Phillips, 1B He was the Twins 27th round pick a year ago out of Austin Peay where he hit 56 homers over his three seasons (including 25 in 2019). He added six more home runs as a pro last year. Round 15 Seth Stohs - Charlie Barnes, LHP The Twins drafted Barnes in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson. In 2019, he split time between Ft. Myers and Pensacola, and he also made four starts for Rochester. The Twins invited him to big league camp this spring. (Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcast – Episode 5) Steve Lein - Albee Weiss 1B At this point I'm looking for any big tools that are left, and Weiss has one with his power. He was fourth in the Appy League last year with a .604 slugging percentage. Lots of K's so far, but when he connects there's a good chance the ball is leaving the yard. This pick will slide Kirilloff into the outfield and complete my lineup. (2019 MiLB Short Season Hitter of the Year: Albee Weiss #5) Ted Schwerzler - Trevor Casanova C Taking my bench bat here and using it on a left-handed hitting catcher. Casanova hasn’t hit for power yet in pro ball, and he put up an ugly average last year as well. However, he showed a strong ability to draw walks and if he can better the bat to ball skills, this could be a key guy to work a good plate appearance. (Get to Know Trevor Casanova) (Seth Note - Back-to-Back Cal State-Northridge teammates in Weiss and Casanova) Cody Christie - Evan Gillespie, LH RP Gillespie was old for the GCL last season, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers he put up in his professional debut. My bullpen was lacking a lefty and he finished as an honorable mention in the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Sign me up. Jeremy Nygaard - Austin Schulfer RHRP Went with a Wisconsin guy with my second-to-last pick. Schulfer strikes a lot of guys out, but he also issues a fair amount of walks as well. (Prospect Spotlight Series: Austin Schulfur, Get to Know Podcast: Austin Schulfur, Caleb Hamilton, Nick Anderson) Matt Braun - Adam Bray, RHRP Bray was great at AA last season but his peripherals dropped when he made the move to AAA. I’m banking on the major league ball being the problem there. Bray rounds out a relief corps that has no lefties but I’m banking on the three batter minimum making that shortcoming less impactful. (Spring Trade Brings Bray Back Home) Round 16 Matt Braun - Luis Baez, Hitter Did you know that Luis Baez had the 6th highest wRC+ among all hitters in the Twins system with at least 50 plate appearances? Yeah, I didn’t either until I did some research and I had to pick up that kind of offensive upside with my very last pick. Jeremy Nygaard - Kidany Salva C Switch-hitter who threw out over 30% of potential base stealers in 2019. Has a ways to go offensively. Cody Christie - Ricky De La Torre, UTL De La Torre had an OPS of 700+ in his first two professional seasons when he was over two year younger than the average age of the competition in the GCL and the Appy League. The Twins pushed him to Cedar Rapids last year and he had some offensive struggles for the first time in his career. He can play multiple defensive positions and I like how he completes my roster. Ted Schwerzler - Ben Gross RHP Gross was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft. His college track record isn’t long and he was a senior sign out of Duke. Working as a starter in his pro debut, Gross could eventually transition to the pen. It looks like there’s strikeout stuff here, and that could help to accelerate his path to the majors. Steve Lein - Alex Phillips RP Phillips absolutely dominated the Florida State League (0.79 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 11.6 K/9) while being shuffled to and from Pensacola during last season, where he had some adjustments to make. But for his efforts overall he was an honorable mention in our Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Alex Phillips #2) Seth Stohs - Carlos Aguiar, Hitter Last pick, frankly, I am just going with my highest ranked prospect. Like Wander Valdez, Aguiar is incredibly impressive in person. He’s huge, strong, massive power potential, and incredibly young and has a long ways to go. I’ll take the upside. (Seth’s Spring Training Standouts: 2020 Edition) 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. Burlington, North Carolina - Each of the last three years, I drove two hours, from Fayetteville, NC, to Burlington, NC, to watch the Minnesota Twins Rookie League team play against the Burlington Royals. I could not miss the opportunity to talk to Osiris German, Frandy Torres and Steven Cruz, three of four Latin pitchers that are part of the Elizabethton Twins’ roster.Osiris German is in his third year as a professional. When I asked him about his career and pitch repertoire, he replied: “I think I'm on the right track. I think I have a pretty good change up. I think it is my best pitch. I have to work more on my slider because I want to be able to feel more confidence when I use it”. For German, last year was his first year playing here in the States. He started 17 games with GCL, and he ended the season with 2-2 and 2.57 ERA. For him, being a Dominican and playing in the States has been a beautiful challenge, “For me, it has been key do not feel ashamed (about the fact that I am not a native English speaker). I always practice and speak English because that’s the only way to survive.” Elizabethton Twins has a total of eight Latin players between Dominicans and Venezuelans, and if you are a baseball fan you know that those baseball players spend more time with their “baseball brothers” than with their families. German told me that there is a nice environment in the clubhouse, especially with the Latin players. “All the Latin players have a good relationship, for me Prelander Berroa (now with San Francisco) is the one that is always making jokes, and Frandy Torres is the opposite. He is super quiet”. After the daily pitcher’s workout, I sat with Steven Cruz, the young RHP from Tanares, D.R, to talk a little bit about his beginning. “I’m from a really small town in the Dominican Republic. I started to play baseball because my brother used to play baseball. Unfortunately, he was not able to become a pro player, but I always said that I will do it, and Thank God, here I am.” With Elizabethton, Cruz has the second best ERA among pitchers with 20 or more innings (2.49 ERA). With three years as a professional, Cruz has been able to develop his pitches and recognize which one works better for him, “If I’m in trouble, then I use my sinker.” Cruz agrees with Germán about the good relationship they have with their teammates. “We have a good relationship. We are like brothers.” Baseball life also represents the opportunity to adapt to multiple changes, not just as a player but as a person. “Now everything is different because we do not live at the Twins complex (Fort Myers). We live in a house. We have to cook, to do everything by ourselves.” That’s something he says has been a good experience for him. Minnesota Twins Latin American Scout, Fred Guerrero was responsible for the signing of Frandy Torres. Unlike most baseball players, Torres wasn’t part of a regular tryout with the Twins, but he had the opportunity to go directly to the Twins complex in Boca Chica where he was evaluated by Guerrero. For Torres, baseball is a continuous learning process, “I try to be focused every day. For me, concentration is key. Sometimes it is hard to be away from your family, but I always try to be positive, and I always remember that I’m also doing this for them”. Frandy is 23 years old but mature enough to know how important it is to have a man like Jeff Smith as a Manager. “He is a good person. He treats everyone in the same way and that’s very important.” Torres also talked about the importance of having Richard Salazar as a Pitching Coach. “It is very positive to have a pitching coach that can speak Spanish. He is a good person, and he is always helping us”. I asked Frandy how he sees himself in couple of years, and he said “I see myself as a better player but also as a better person. I want to keep working hard and I always want God to help me be humble.” Thank you to Mariana Guzman for this article, but also to Osiris German, Steven Cruz and Frandy Torres for their insights. Click here to view the article
  18. Osiris German is in his third year as a professional. When I asked him about his career and pitch repertoire, he replied: “I think I'm on the right track. I think I have a pretty good change up. I think it is my best pitch. I have to work more on my slider because I want to be able to feel more confidence when I use it”. For German, last year was his first year playing here in the States. He started 17 games with GCL, and he ended the season with 2-2 and 2.57 ERA. For him, being a Dominican and playing in the States has been a beautiful challenge, “For me, it has been key do not feel ashamed (about the fact that I am not a native English speaker). I always practice and speak English because that’s the only way to survive.” Elizabethton Twins has a total of eight Latin players between Dominicans and Venezuelans, and if you are a baseball fan you know that those baseball players spend more time with their “baseball brothers” than with their families. German told me that there is a nice environment in the clubhouse, especially with the Latin players. “All the Latin players have a good relationship, for me Prelander Berroa (now with San Francisco) is the one that is always making jokes, and Frandy Torres is the opposite. He is super quiet”. After the daily pitcher’s workout, I sat with Steven Cruz, the young RHP from Tanares, D.R, to talk a little bit about his beginning. “I’m from a really small town in the Dominican Republic. I started to play baseball because my brother used to play baseball. Unfortunately, he was not able to become a pro player, but I always said that I will do it, and Thank God, here I am.” With Elizabethton, Cruz has the second best ERA among pitchers with 20 or more innings (2.49 ERA). With three years as a professional, Cruz has been able to develop his pitches and recognize which one works better for him, “If I’m in trouble, then I use my sinker.” Cruz agrees with Germán about the good relationship they have with their teammates. “We have a good relationship. We are like brothers.” Baseball life also represents the opportunity to adapt to multiple changes, not just as a player but as a person. “Now everything is different because we do not live at the Twins complex (Fort Myers). We live in a house. We have to cook, to do everything by ourselves.” That’s something he says has been a good experience for him. Minnesota Twins Latin American Scout, Fred Guerrero was responsible for the signing of Frandy Torres. Unlike most baseball players, Torres wasn’t part of a regular tryout with the Twins, but he had the opportunity to go directly to the Twins complex in Boca Chica where he was evaluated by Guerrero. For Torres, baseball is a continuous learning process, “I try to be focused every day. For me, concentration is key. Sometimes it is hard to be away from your family, but I always try to be positive, and I always remember that I’m also doing this for them”. Frandy is 23 years old but mature enough to know how important it is to have a man like Jeff Smith as a Manager. “He is a good person. He treats everyone in the same way and that’s very important.” Torres also talked about the importance of having Richard Salazar as a Pitching Coach. “It is very positive to have a pitching coach that can speak Spanish. He is a good person, and he is always helping us”. I asked Frandy how he sees himself in couple of years, and he said “I see myself as a better player but also as a better person. I want to keep working hard and I always want God to help me be humble.” Thank you to Mariana Guzman for this article, but also to Osiris German, Steven Cruz and Frandy Torres for their insights.
  19. The Red Wings returned from their All-Star break with a doubleheader. In game 1, Ronald Torreyes had three hits and homered twice. But as we have known since childhood, Zander Wiel makes the Red Wings bus go round and round. Quietly the 2015 12th round pick from Vanderbilt is putting together a monster season in Triple-A. He deserves to be noticed and a game like this will get a player noticed. There were a large number of transactions again on Thursday including the transfer of Cody Allen from the Miracle to the Red Wings.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS RH RP Cody Allen was reinstated from the temporary inactive list and promoted from Ft. Myers to Rochester.IF Brian Schales was promoted from Pensacola to Rochester.The Red Wings officially received recently-optioned RHP Kohl Stewart and LHP Devin Smeltzer from the Twins.DJ Baxendale was placed on the Red Wings Injured List.LH RP Andrew Vasquez was sent from Rochester to Pensacola.The Blue Wahoos also announced that the Twins have signed veteran infielder (and former big leaguer) Ivan De Jesus, Jr. to a minor league deal and assigned him to Pensacola.RHP Edwar Colina was promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola.RH RP Moises Gomez was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers.RH RP Nate Hadley, the Twins 25th round pick last month, was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton.RED WINGS REPORTGame 1 - Rochester 13, Lehigh Valley 5 Box Score Zander Wiel continues to quietly put up big numbers for the Red Wings this year. In this game, he hit his 23rd and 24th doubles and his 14th and 15th home runs. He drove in seven runs. That is a good week! Ronald Torreyes knocked his sixth and seventh homers and drove in four runs. He went 3-for-4. Wilin Rosario was also 3-for-4 in the game. Jaylin Davis went 2-for-4. Nick Gordon drove in two runs with a single. Sean Poppen started Game 1 and gave up three runs on four hits and four walks over four innings. He also struck out four batters. Carlos Torres came on to start the fifth inning. He went the final three innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out three… to win his third game since joining the Red Wings. Game 2 - Rochester, Lehigh Valley Box Score Game is in progress. This will be updated upon game's completion. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 2, Montgomery 6 Box Score Lefty Bryan Sammons started and gave up four runs on four hits over the first four innings. He walked one, hit two batters, and struck out three batters. Zack Weiss came on and gave up one run on one hit over 2 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one batter. Alex Phillips gave up two runs on two hits over the next two innings. He walked three and struck out one. Hector Lujan got the final two outs of the top of the ninth inning, but not before allowing an inherited runner to score and two more of his own. He gave up three hits and struck out one batter. Travis Blankenhorn led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his 14th double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Daytona Box Score Game cancelled by Rain. It will not be made up. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Great Lakes 3 Box Score Luis Rijo put together one of the best starts in the organization in his most recent starts, and he followed it with another really strong start. The right-hander started with six shutout innings. He gave up two runs in the seventh. In 6 2/3 innings, he gave up those two runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. Alex Schick came on and gave up one run on two hits over the final 2 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two batters. For the second straight game, Trevor Casanova hit a home run, his third in 15 games since joining the Kernels. A catcher, he has been playing often in the Kernels outfield, and on this night he threw out a runner at home. It provided the team their lone run. Gabe Snyder went 2-for-3 with a walk. --------------------------------------------- In case you missed it, on Wednesday night in Cedar Rapids, they introduced their 2019 Hall of Fame class. The group included long-time Board of Directors member Gary Keoppel, players Jerry Reuss and Hector Cruz ,and manager Jake Mauer. Jeff Johnson chatted with Mauerabout getting away from the game, what he misses and what he’s up to these days. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 0, Burlington 5 Box Score The E-Twins had a rough game. The offense only managed four hits, the same number of errors that they had in the night. Spencer Steer hit a triple, the team’s lone extra-base hit. Matt Wallner had a single, and he also threw out a runner at third base from right field. Ben Gross made the start for the E-Twins. He went the first four innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out six without a walk. Lefty Erik Cha came on and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in two innings. He struck out three. Steven Cruz struck out six batters in three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score German right-hander Niklas Rimmel made the start for the Twins on Thursday afternoon. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits over five innings .He struck out five without walking any, though he did hit one batter. Venezuelan righty Miguel Rodriguez came on and tossed three scoreless innings for his second straight outing. On this day, he gave up one hit, walked one and struck out seven batters. Lefty Evan Gillespie, recently signed out of Faulkner University, gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth. He was credited with his first professional win. The Twins entered the bottom of the ninth inning down 2-0. With one out, Wander Valdez, Francisco Martinez and Bryson Gandy all singled to load the bases. Alec Craig walked to bring in the team’s first run. Martinez scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Jesus Feliz walked to reload the bases. Parker Phillips ended the game with a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Bryson Gandy with the winning run. LaRon Smith went 2-for-4. Along with the game-winning RBI, Phillips went 2-for-4. Wander Valdez entered the game late and went 2-for-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, RBI, 3 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Game 2 ( #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Game 1 (1-4, R, 2 RBI), Game 2 ( #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2 K, OF Assist #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-4, K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-3, 2 BB, R, RBI #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B(14), RBI FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.50 ERA) Montgomery @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (4-0, 2.92 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (2-2, 1.95 ERA) Great Lakes @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-1, 2.32 ERA) Burlington @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - Andriu Marin (1-1, 2.77 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  20. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS RH RP Cody Allen was reinstated from the temporary inactive list and promoted from Ft. Myers to Rochester. IF Brian Schales was promoted from Pensacola to Rochester. The Red Wings officially received recently-optioned RHP Kohl Stewart and LHP Devin Smeltzer from the Twins. DJ Baxendale was placed on the Red Wings Injured List. LH RP Andrew Vasquez was sent from Rochester to Pensacola. The Blue Wahoos also announced that the Twins have signed veteran infielder (and former big leaguer) Ivan De Jesus, Jr. to a minor league deal and assigned him to Pensacola. RHP Edwar Colina was promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola. RH RP Moises Gomez was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers. RH RP Nate Hadley, the Twins 25th round pick last month, was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton. RED WINGS REPORT Game 1 - Rochester 13, Lehigh Valley 5 Box Score Zander Wiel continues to quietly put up big numbers for the Red Wings this year. In this game, he hit his 23rd and 24th doubles and his 14th and 15th home runs. He drove in seven runs. That is a good week! https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1149469182062317570 Ronald Torreyes knocked his sixth and seventh homers and drove in four runs. He went 3-for-4. Wilin Rosario was also 3-for-4 in the game. Jaylin Davis went 2-for-4. Nick Gordon drove in two runs with a single. Sean Poppen started Game 1 and gave up three runs on four hits and four walks over four innings. He also struck out four batters. Carlos Torres came on to start the fifth inning. He went the final three innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out three… to win his third game since joining the Red Wings. Game 2 - Rochester, Lehigh Valley Box Score Game is in progress. This will be updated upon game's completion. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 2, Montgomery 6 Box Score Lefty Bryan Sammons started and gave up four runs on four hits over the first four innings. He walked one, hit two batters, and struck out three batters. Zack Weiss came on and gave up one run on one hit over 2 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one batter. Alex Phillips gave up two runs on two hits over the next two innings. He walked three and struck out one. Hector Lujan got the final two outs of the top of the ninth inning, but not before allowing an inherited runner to score and two more of his own. He gave up three hits and struck out one batter. Travis Blankenhorn led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his 14th double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Daytona Box Score Game cancelled by Rain. It will not be made up. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Great Lakes 3 Box Score Luis Rijo put together one of the best starts in the organization in his most recent starts, and he followed it with another really strong start. The right-hander started with six shutout innings. He gave up two runs in the seventh. In 6 2/3 innings, he gave up those two runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. Alex Schick came on and gave up one run on two hits over the final 2 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two batters. For the second straight game, Trevor Casanova hit a home run, his third in 15 games since joining the Kernels. A catcher, he has been playing often in the Kernels outfield, and on this night he threw out a runner at home. It provided the team their lone run. Gabe Snyder went 2-for-3 with a walk. --------------------------------------------- In case you missed it, on Wednesday night in Cedar Rapids, they introduced their 2019 Hall of Fame class. The group included long-time Board of Directors member Gary Keoppel, players Jerry Reuss and Hector Cruz ,and manager Jake Mauer. Jeff Johnson chatted with Mauer about getting away from the game, what he misses and what he’s up to these days. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 0, Burlington 5 Box Score The E-Twins had a rough game. The offense only managed four hits, the same number of errors that they had in the night. Spencer Steer hit a triple, the team’s lone extra-base hit. Matt Wallner had a single, and he also threw out a runner at third base from right field. Ben Gross made the start for the E-Twins. He went the first four innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out six without a walk. Lefty Erik Cha came on and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in two innings. He struck out three. Steven Cruz struck out six batters in three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score German right-hander Niklas Rimmel made the start for the Twins on Thursday afternoon. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits over five innings .He struck out five without walking any, though he did hit one batter. Venezuelan righty Miguel Rodriguez came on and tossed three scoreless innings for his second straight outing. On this day, he gave up one hit, walked one and struck out seven batters. Lefty Evan Gillespie, recently signed out of Faulkner University, gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth. He was credited with his first professional win. The Twins entered the bottom of the ninth inning down 2-0. With one out, Wander Valdez, Francisco Martinez and Bryson Gandy all singled to load the bases. Alec Craig walked to bring in the team’s first run. Martinez scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Jesus Feliz walked to reload the bases. Parker Phillips ended the game with a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Bryson Gandy with the winning run. LaRon Smith went 2-for-4. Along with the game-winning RBI, Phillips went 2-for-4. Wander Valdez entered the game late and went 2-for-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, RBI, 3 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Game 2 ( #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Game 1 (1-4, R, 2 RBI), Game 2 ( #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2 K, OF Assist #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-4, K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-3, 2 BB, R, RBI #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B(14), RBI FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.50 ERA) Montgomery @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (4-0, 2.92 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (2-2, 1.95 ERA) Great Lakes @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-1, 2.32 ERA) Burlington @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - Andriu Marin (1-1, 2.77 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
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