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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Over the last week or so, Twins Daily has handed out our 2018 minor league awards. Today we continue the series by looking at the top hitters in the Twins organization this season. There were a lot of strong performances, but at the end of the day, the vote was unanimous. Despite missing the entire 2017 season, Alex Kirilloff was our choice for 2018 Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year. Previous 2018 Awards Short-Season Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Cabezas Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year: Chris Williams Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez Today: Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Wells Minor League Hitter of the Year: Alex Kirilloff Previous Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Year: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex KirilloffBefore we get to the Top Eight, we will take a look at others who received votes. While some of the top prospects finished near the top of this list, the Twins got quality hitting performances from many guys up and down the system. But when it came down to it, there was one Twins hitting prospect who stood out above the rest in 2018. Royce Lewis and Brent Rooker had really terrific seasons, but Alex Kirilloff had one of the best minor league seasons in recent Twins minor league history. Regarding Kirilloff, Lewis and Rooker, Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “They’re three of the most exciting names in our system, and three guys that we pushed relatively aggressively, especially in the case of Rooker being his first full season in pro ball, and Royce and Alex too for that matter. And to see them meet those challenges, work through those challenges and compete and excel has been great.” Six Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top eight are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Ryan Jeffers - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 64 games, 83-241, .344/.444/.502 (.946), 17-2B, 7-HR, 48 R, 33 RBI.Jose Miranda - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 131 games, 133-503, .264/.319/.417 (.736), 27-2B, 1-3B, 16-HR, 61 R, 82 RBI.Willians Astudillo - Rochester Red Wings - 78 games, 79-286, .276/.314/.469 (.782), 17-2B, 1-3B, 12-HR, 30 R, 38 RBI.LaMonte Wade - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings, 120 games, 109-424, .257/.360/.380 (.739), 11-2B, 4-3B, 11-HR, 54 R, 48 RBI.Michael Davis - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 45 games, 48-157, .306/.343/.567 (.910), 9-2B, 1-3B, 10-HR, 29 R, 32 RBI.Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top eight vote-getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year: 8. Luis Arraez – Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 108 games, 126-406, .310/.361/.397 (.758), 20-2B, 3-3B, 3-HR, 52 R, 36 RBI. Arraez hit .347 for Cedar Rapids in 2016 to win the Midwest League batting title as a 19 year old. Three games into his 2017 season in Ft. Myers, Arraez tore up his knee and needed surgery which cost him the remainder of the season. He came back to the Miracle in mid-April and had just two hits in his first 29 at-bats (.069). Over his next 53 games, he hit .357. He was the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month in June when he hit .449 with 13 extra base hits and an OPS over 1.100. He played 26 games that month and had multi-hit games in 16 of them including five three-hit games, two four-hit games and a five-hit game. On July 4th, he was promoted to Chattanooga where he hit .298 over the final 48 games. 7. Akil Baddoo – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 113 games, 106-437, .243/.351/.419 (.770), 22-2B, 11-3B, 11-HR, 83 R, 40 RBI. When looking at Baddoo’s stats, it is important to look past the batting average. Sure, that’s an area of improvement that he’ll want to make in his development. However, when he consider his on-base percentage and the extra-base hit power and you can understand why the organization is so excited about the talented 20-year-old. In fact, he didn’t turn 20 until mid-August. Baddoo does a nice job at the top of the order. Considering how many walks he takes, Baddoo is not a passive hitter. As you would guess from the extra-base hits, he’s got a strong, powerful swing. He’s got very good speed and stole 24 bases. He also profiles as a very solid center fielder whose arm strength has improved since the draft. 6. Jaylin Davis – Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 120 games, 120-439, .273/.347/.412 (.759), 24-2B, 2-3B, 11-HR, 53 R, 53 RBI. The former 24th-round pick from Appalachian State put together a solid season in 2018. Since signing, he has shown good power, but he’s also had a lot of swing and miss in his game. While he still did in 2018, it is important to note that his strikeout rate dropped while his walk rate increased significantly. Davis spent the second half of 2017 in Ft. Myers and that is where he began the 2018 season. At about mid-season, Davis received his promotion to Chattanooga where he put up very similar numbers. Davis will look to continue his improvements in the Arizona Fall League. 5. Taylor Grzelakowski – Fort Myers Miracle – 95 games, 99-332, .298/.370/.458 (.828), 23-2B, 3-3B, 8-HR, 46 R, 40 RBI Grzelakowski was one of the better stories in the Twins minor league system in 2018. Signed late in 2017 as a non-drafted free agent from the United Shores Professional Baseball League after a career at Madonna University. He got a handful of at-bats in the GCL after signing last year. He came to spring training this year, and when the season started, he had skipped Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids and made the Ft. Myers roster. He caught, played first base, and played some left field while making a lot of starts at DH too. And it didn’t take long for him to hit near the top of the Miracle lineup. He hit well and was very consistent throughout the season. So, it may have started out as a fun story, but “Gelly” made himself a prospect to watch with his strong bat. 4. Zander Wiel – Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings – 116 games, 130-437, .297/.367/.442 (.809), 27-2B, 3-3B, 10-HR, 58 R, 65 RBI Since the Twins made Zander Wiel their 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt, he has been consistent and moved up one level each year. 2018 was the first season in which he received a late-season promotion, playing 16 games at the end of the year in Rochester. Drafted as a first baseman, Wiel and Brent Rooker split time between first base and left field throughout 2018. Wiel takes generally professional at-bats. He has a lot of doubles power and can sometimes hit some long home runs. He had a walkoff homer in a game for the Red Wings. 3. Brent Rooker - Chattanooga Lookouts – 130 games, 128-503, .254/.333/.465 (.798), 32-2B, 4-3B, 22-HR, 72 R, 79 RBI. The Twins liked Brent Rooker enough that they drafted him twice. He was the team’s 38th-round pick in 2016 but chose to go back to Mississippi State. He won the SEC Triple Crown in 2017 and the Twins made him a supplemental first-round pick after the season. The Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers to end last year, and he spent his first full minor league season in Double-A Chattanooga. Things started out pretty slow for Rooker. Through his first 42 games, he hit just .233/.278/.374 (.653) with four home runs. Over his next 60 games, he hit .312/.389/.624 (1.013) with 20 doubles and 16 home runs. He struggled again late, but again, we can see what Rooker’s potential is. A lot of strikeouts (150!) and a lot of power and extra-base hits. 2. Royce Lewis - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – 121 games, 141-483, .292/.352/.451 (.803), 29-2B, 3-3B, 14-HR, 83 R, 74 RBI. The top pick in the 2017 draft had a strong first full season in pro baseball. He began the season in Cedar Rapids, where he finished the 2017 season, and did well. In 75 games for the Kernels, he hit .315/.368/.485 (.853) with 23 doubles and nine home runs. Many of those extra-base hits came in his final 40 games with the Kernels. He made the Midwest League all-star team and a few weeks later, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. In his 46 games with the Miracle, he hit .255/.327/.399 (.726) with six doubles, three triples and five home runs. Lewis impressed at shortstop, and he led the organization with 28 stolen bases. In the Florida State League championship series, he hit three homers to help the Miracle to the championship. There is a lot of reason for excitement in Lewis’s future. Hitter of the Year Alex Kirilloff – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – 130 games, 178-512, .348/.392/.578 (.970), 44-2B, 7-3B, 20-HR, 75 R, 101 RBI. I mean, it was probably the easiest choice of all of our 2018 Twins Minor League award votes. All six of our voters chose outfielder Alex Kirilloff as the 2018 Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year. Kirilloff’s 2018 season was as impressive as we have seen in the Twins system in a number or years. Twins Minor League Director Jeremy Zoll summed it up pretty nicely. “Just a phenomenal season for Alex. To see what he’s done after missing a whole year last year. Start to finish. Wire to wire really just continue to take amazing at-bats and do damage to the baseball has been extremely fun to watch.” It almost makes one forget that Kirilloff missed the entire 2017 season after having Tommy John surgery last March. He was cleared for all baseball activities by about Thanksgiving last year, and he was a full-go in spring training. He began the season in the cold of Cedar Rapids. In his first three games, he went 1-for-12. And from that point forward, he was remarkably consistent. In 65 games in Cedar Rapids, he hit .333/.391/.607 (.999). Then in Ft. Myers, he played 65 games and hit .362/.393/.550 (.943). Kirilloff said, “Cold weather was a factor for the beginning of the MWL season, after that I adjusted well and enjoyed that league in general playing wise. FSL air is a lot thicker, not a hitter-friendly league.” He enjoyed the opportunity to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game. “The Midwest League All-Star Game was a blast. Having a bunch of my family there from Michigan was really special for me. Sharing the time with Royce (Lewis) and Jared (Finkel) made it even better.” Following the All-Star Game, Kirilloff went directly to the Ft. Myers Miracle. In his second game, he had four hits and followed it up with a three-hit game. A few weeks later, Kirilloff represented the Twins on Team USA at the Futures Game. His manager was Torii Hunter. LaTroy Hawkins was the team’s pitching coach. Matthew Lecroy was on the coaching staff. Miracle hitting coach Steve Singleton was the Team USA hitting coach for the game. Singleton said recently that he and the other coaches knew the Kirilloff would have a great showing. “Torii, LaTroy and I joked in the staff meeting at the Futures Game that our guy would get two hits, then he did.” Kirilloff went 2-for-2 in the game and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “The Futures Game was an incredible experience. Have to say it tops the Midwest League All Star Game a little bit. Just being a part of All-Star week, playing in D.C., and playing in a big league stadium in front of that crowd was fun. On top of that being around the caliber of players that were there made that whole thing awesome as well.” Kirilloff was excited to share the two All-Star game experiences. “Best part about both of them was just the opportunity to be there, and to share it with my wife and family. Both weren’t something I was really thinking about or on my radar at the beginning of the year.” When he returned to the Miracle lineup, he had multi-hit games in eight of his next nine games. He had hits in 27 of his next 28 games. Singleton discussed working with Kirilloff in Ft. Myers and the talent that he possesses. “It was an absolute pleasure having AK this year. Obviously, the talent is special, but the person is even better. He is very mature for his age, stays even- keeled, goes about his work the right way and is a great teammate. He was a leader on the team without ever asserting himself that way. He handled himself like a veteran in a tough league and dominated it in his first full season. Offensively, he is ahead of anyone I have ever been around at 20 years old.” The consistency that Kirilloff showed throughout the season can be illustrated by the below tweet showing where his line drives and fly balls went in 2018. Kirilloff uses the whole field as well as anyone. So, it is fair to ask Mr. Zoll how much he considered pushing Kirilloff up to Double-A Chattanooga. His response: “When you perform like that, that consistently, that long, it definitely is a thought that crosses people’s minds, and showed up in discussions internally. Ultimately just trying to make sure we’re doing what’s best for Alex’s long-term development here. Also very excited that he gets to play in the Florida State League championship, meaningful games in August to get into the playoffs. And with Royce, with (Brusdar) Graterol, with a nice little core there with the Miracle. ” That trio played in the Florida State League championship series, and that trio helped the Miracle to their second Florida State League championship in the last five years. Kirilloff said, “Being a part of any playoff run is always exciting. The group of guys we had, our coaching staff, and front office really made this one special. Was really happy and pleased that we started clicking and playing really good baseball as a team down the stretch. Then we’re fortunate enough to continue that into the playoffs and do what we did. Incredible year!” While this is a hitting award, it was important to ask Jeremy Zoll about Kirilloff’s defense and specifically his arm. “Alex is really technically sound out there. He’ll be the first to tell you that he’s not a burner by any stretch, but he makes the plays that everyone expects him too. The arm has really good carry on it still, and no lingering effects from the surgery and missing all that time.” Singleton said, “He has committed himself to his speed and athleticism this offseason and I expect him to improve from this season to next...as crazy as that sounds.” Jeremy Zoll said, “It’s been cool for him, and on top of being a great player, he’s a great person and a great representative for the organization.” What a year 2018 was for Alex Kirilloff. And, as voters, we appreciate him making the voting quite easy this year! The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Taylor Grzelakowski, 5) Zander Wiel, 6) Luis Arraez, 7) Jose Miranda, 8) Akil BaddooJeremy Nygaard – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jaylin Davis, 6) Luis Arraez, 7) Akil Baddoo, 8) Michael DavisCody Christie – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Brent Rooker, 3) Royce Lewis, 4) Jaylin Davis, 5) Taylor Grzelakowski, 6) Akil Baddoo, 7) Willians Astudillo, 8) Zander WielTom Froemming – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Taylor Grzelakowski, 5) Zander Wiel, 6) Akil Baddoo, 7) Jaylin Davis, 8) LaMonte WadeSteve Lein – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Ryan Jeffers, 5) Zander Wiel 6) Taylor Grzelakowski, 7) Luis Arraez, 8) Jose MirandaTed Schwerzler – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Zander Wiel, 5) Taylor Grzelakowski, 6) Jaylin Davis, 7) Akil Baddoo, 8) Jose MirandaFeel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  4. Before we get to the Top Eight, we will take a look at others who received votes. While some of the top prospects finished near the top of this list, the Twins got quality hitting performances from many guys up and down the system. But when it came down to it, there was one Twins hitting prospect who stood out above the rest in 2018. Royce Lewis and Brent Rooker had really terrific seasons, but Alex Kirilloff had one of the best minor league seasons in recent Twins minor league history. Regarding Kirilloff, Lewis and Rooker, Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “They’re three of the most exciting names in our system, and three guys that we pushed relatively aggressively, especially in the case of Rooker being his first full season in pro ball, and Royce and Alex too for that matter. And to see them meet those challenges, work through those challenges and compete and excel has been great.” Six Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top eight are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Ryan Jeffers - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 64 games, 83-241, .344/.444/.502 (.946), 17-2B, 7-HR, 48 R, 33 RBI. Jose Miranda - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 131 games, 133-503, .264/.319/.417 (.736), 27-2B, 1-3B, 16-HR, 61 R, 82 RBI. Willians Astudillo - Rochester Red Wings - 78 games, 79-286, .276/.314/.469 (.782), 17-2B, 1-3B, 12-HR, 30 R, 38 RBI. LaMonte Wade - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings, 120 games, 109-424, .257/.360/.380 (.739), 11-2B, 4-3B, 11-HR, 54 R, 48 RBI. Michael Davis - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 45 games, 48-157, .306/.343/.567 (.910), 9-2B, 1-3B, 10-HR, 29 R, 32 RBI. Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top eight vote-getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year: 8. Luis Arraez – Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 108 games, 126-406, .310/.361/.397 (.758), 20-2B, 3-3B, 3-HR, 52 R, 36 RBI. Arraez hit .347 for Cedar Rapids in 2016 to win the Midwest League batting title as a 19 year old. Three games into his 2017 season in Ft. Myers, Arraez tore up his knee and needed surgery which cost him the remainder of the season. He came back to the Miracle in mid-April and had just two hits in his first 29 at-bats (.069). Over his next 53 games, he hit .357. He was the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month in June when he hit .449 with 13 extra base hits and an OPS over 1.100. He played 26 games that month and had multi-hit games in 16 of them including five three-hit games, two four-hit games and a five-hit game. On July 4th, he was promoted to Chattanooga where he hit .298 over the final 48 games. 7. Akil Baddoo – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 113 games, 106-437, .243/.351/.419 (.770), 22-2B, 11-3B, 11-HR, 83 R, 40 RBI. When looking at Baddoo’s stats, it is important to look past the batting average. Sure, that’s an area of improvement that he’ll want to make in his development. However, when he consider his on-base percentage and the extra-base hit power and you can understand why the organization is so excited about the talented 20-year-old. In fact, he didn’t turn 20 until mid-August. Baddoo does a nice job at the top of the order. Considering how many walks he takes, Baddoo is not a passive hitter. As you would guess from the extra-base hits, he’s got a strong, powerful swing. He’s got very good speed and stole 24 bases. He also profiles as a very solid center fielder whose arm strength has improved since the draft. 6. Jaylin Davis – Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 120 games, 120-439, .273/.347/.412 (.759), 24-2B, 2-3B, 11-HR, 53 R, 53 RBI. The former 24th-round pick from Appalachian State put together a solid season in 2018. Since signing, he has shown good power, but he’s also had a lot of swing and miss in his game. While he still did in 2018, it is important to note that his strikeout rate dropped while his walk rate increased significantly. Davis spent the second half of 2017 in Ft. Myers and that is where he began the 2018 season. At about mid-season, Davis received his promotion to Chattanooga where he put up very similar numbers. Davis will look to continue his improvements in the Arizona Fall League. 5. Taylor Grzelakowski – Fort Myers Miracle – 95 games, 99-332, .298/.370/.458 (.828), 23-2B, 3-3B, 8-HR, 46 R, 40 RBI Grzelakowski was one of the better stories in the Twins minor league system in 2018. Signed late in 2017 as a non-drafted free agent from the United Shores Professional Baseball League after a career at Madonna University. He got a handful of at-bats in the GCL after signing last year. He came to spring training this year, and when the season started, he had skipped Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids and made the Ft. Myers roster. He caught, played first base, and played some left field while making a lot of starts at DH too. And it didn’t take long for him to hit near the top of the Miracle lineup. He hit well and was very consistent throughout the season. So, it may have started out as a fun story, but “Gelly” made himself a prospect to watch with his strong bat. 4. Zander Wiel – Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings – 116 games, 130-437, .297/.367/.442 (.809), 27-2B, 3-3B, 10-HR, 58 R, 65 RBI Since the Twins made Zander Wiel their 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt, he has been consistent and moved up one level each year. 2018 was the first season in which he received a late-season promotion, playing 16 games at the end of the year in Rochester. Drafted as a first baseman, Wiel and Brent Rooker split time between first base and left field throughout 2018. Wiel takes generally professional at-bats. He has a lot of doubles power and can sometimes hit some long home runs. He had a walkoff homer in a game for the Red Wings. 3. Brent Rooker - Chattanooga Lookouts – 130 games, 128-503, .254/.333/.465 (.798), 32-2B, 4-3B, 22-HR, 72 R, 79 RBI. The Twins liked Brent Rooker enough that they drafted him twice. He was the team’s 38th-round pick in 2016 but chose to go back to Mississippi State. He won the SEC Triple Crown in 2017 and the Twins made him a supplemental first-round pick after the season. The Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers to end last year, and he spent his first full minor league season in Double-A Chattanooga. Things started out pretty slow for Rooker. Through his first 42 games, he hit just .233/.278/.374 (.653) with four home runs. Over his next 60 games, he hit .312/.389/.624 (1.013) with 20 doubles and 16 home runs. He struggled again late, but again, we can see what Rooker’s potential is. A lot of strikeouts (150!) and a lot of power and extra-base hits. 2. Royce Lewis - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – 121 games, 141-483, .292/.352/.451 (.803), 29-2B, 3-3B, 14-HR, 83 R, 74 RBI. The top pick in the 2017 draft had a strong first full season in pro baseball. He began the season in Cedar Rapids, where he finished the 2017 season, and did well. In 75 games for the Kernels, he hit .315/.368/.485 (.853) with 23 doubles and nine home runs. Many of those extra-base hits came in his final 40 games with the Kernels. He made the Midwest League all-star team and a few weeks later, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. In his 46 games with the Miracle, he hit .255/.327/.399 (.726) with six doubles, three triples and five home runs. Lewis impressed at shortstop, and he led the organization with 28 stolen bases. In the Florida State League championship series, he hit three homers to help the Miracle to the championship. There is a lot of reason for excitement in Lewis’s future. Hitter of the Year Alex Kirilloff – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – 130 games, 178-512, .348/.392/.578 (.970), 44-2B, 7-3B, 20-HR, 75 R, 101 RBI. I mean, it was probably the easiest choice of all of our 2018 Twins Minor League award votes. All six of our voters chose outfielder Alex Kirilloff as the 2018 Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year. Kirilloff’s 2018 season was as impressive as we have seen in the Twins system in a number or years. Twins Minor League Director Jeremy Zoll summed it up pretty nicely. “Just a phenomenal season for Alex. To see what he’s done after missing a whole year last year. Start to finish. Wire to wire really just continue to take amazing at-bats and do damage to the baseball has been extremely fun to watch.” It almost makes one forget that Kirilloff missed the entire 2017 season after having Tommy John surgery last March. He was cleared for all baseball activities by about Thanksgiving last year, and he was a full-go in spring training. He began the season in the cold of Cedar Rapids. In his first three games, he went 1-for-12. And from that point forward, he was remarkably consistent. In 65 games in Cedar Rapids, he hit .333/.391/.607 (.999). Then in Ft. Myers, he played 65 games and hit .362/.393/.550 (.943). Kirilloff said, “Cold weather was a factor for the beginning of the MWL season, after that I adjusted well and enjoyed that league in general playing wise. FSL air is a lot thicker, not a hitter-friendly league.” He enjoyed the opportunity to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game. “The Midwest League All-Star Game was a blast. Having a bunch of my family there from Michigan was really special for me. Sharing the time with Royce (Lewis) and Jared (Finkel) made it even better.” Following the All-Star Game, Kirilloff went directly to the Ft. Myers Miracle. In his second game, he had four hits and followed it up with a three-hit game. A few weeks later, Kirilloff represented the Twins on Team USA at the Futures Game. His manager was Torii Hunter. LaTroy Hawkins was the team’s pitching coach. Matthew Lecroy was on the coaching staff. Miracle hitting coach Steve Singleton was the Team USA hitting coach for the game. Singleton said recently that he and the other coaches knew the Kirilloff would have a great showing. “Torii, LaTroy and I joked in the staff meeting at the Futures Game that our guy would get two hits, then he did.” Kirilloff went 2-for-2 in the game and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “The Futures Game was an incredible experience. Have to say it tops the Midwest League All Star Game a little bit. Just being a part of All-Star week, playing in D.C., and playing in a big league stadium in front of that crowd was fun. On top of that being around the caliber of players that were there made that whole thing awesome as well.” Kirilloff was excited to share the two All-Star game experiences. “Best part about both of them was just the opportunity to be there, and to share it with my wife and family. Both weren’t something I was really thinking about or on my radar at the beginning of the year.” When he returned to the Miracle lineup, he had multi-hit games in eight of his next nine games. He had hits in 27 of his next 28 games. Singleton discussed working with Kirilloff in Ft. Myers and the talent that he possesses. “It was an absolute pleasure having AK this year. Obviously, the talent is special, but the person is even better. He is very mature for his age, stays even- keeled, goes about his work the right way and is a great teammate. He was a leader on the team without ever asserting himself that way. He handled himself like a veteran in a tough league and dominated it in his first full season. Offensively, he is ahead of anyone I have ever been around at 20 years old.” The consistency that Kirilloff showed throughout the season can be illustrated by the below tweet showing where his line drives and fly balls went in 2018. Kirilloff uses the whole field as well as anyone. https://twitter.com/GoldenSombrero/status/1041762071795392512 So, it is fair to ask Mr. Zoll how much he considered pushing Kirilloff up to Double-A Chattanooga. His response: “When you perform like that, that consistently, that long, it definitely is a thought that crosses people’s minds, and showed up in discussions internally. Ultimately just trying to make sure we’re doing what’s best for Alex’s long-term development here. Also very excited that he gets to play in the Florida State League championship, meaningful games in August to get into the playoffs. And with Royce, with (Brusdar) Graterol, with a nice little core there with the Miracle. ” That trio played in the Florida State League championship series, and that trio helped the Miracle to their second Florida State League championship in the last five years. Kirilloff said, “Being a part of any playoff run is always exciting. The group of guys we had, our coaching staff, and front office really made this one special. Was really happy and pleased that we started clicking and playing really good baseball as a team down the stretch. Then we’re fortunate enough to continue that into the playoffs and do what we did. Incredible year!” While this is a hitting award, it was important to ask Jeremy Zoll about Kirilloff’s defense and specifically his arm. “Alex is really technically sound out there. He’ll be the first to tell you that he’s not a burner by any stretch, but he makes the plays that everyone expects him too. The arm has really good carry on it still, and no lingering effects from the surgery and missing all that time.” Singleton said, “He has committed himself to his speed and athleticism this offseason and I expect him to improve from this season to next...as crazy as that sounds.” Jeremy Zoll said, “It’s been cool for him, and on top of being a great player, he’s a great person and a great representative for the organization.” What a year 2018 was for Alex Kirilloff. And, as voters, we appreciate him making the voting quite easy this year! The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Taylor Grzelakowski, 5) Zander Wiel, 6) Luis Arraez, 7) Jose Miranda, 8) Akil Baddoo Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jaylin Davis, 6) Luis Arraez, 7) Akil Baddoo, 8) Michael Davis Cody Christie – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Brent Rooker, 3) Royce Lewis, 4) Jaylin Davis, 5) Taylor Grzelakowski, 6) Akil Baddoo, 7) Willians Astudillo, 8) Zander Wiel Tom Froemming – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Taylor Grzelakowski, 5) Zander Wiel, 6) Akil Baddoo, 7) Jaylin Davis, 8) LaMonte Wade Steve Lein – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Ryan Jeffers, 5) Zander Wiel 6) Taylor Grzelakowski, 7) Luis Arraez, 8) Jose Miranda Ted Schwerzler – 1) Alex Kirilloff, 2) Royce Lewis, 3) Brent Rooker, 4) Zander Wiel, 5) Taylor Grzelakowski, 6) Jaylin Davis, 7) Akil Baddoo, 8) Jose Miranda Feel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look?
  5. It was another busy day in the Minnesota Twins minor league system. Each of the affiliates played. Zander Wiel recorded his first Rochester hit. Clark Beeker was solid in his first Double A start. Alex Kirilloff kept up an impressive streak while Taylor Grzelakowski continued an impressive season with another strong game. Akil Baddoo and Trevor Larnach powered the Kernels to a win. The E-Twins needed 11 innings and got great relief work from Jacob Blank while Jean Carlos Arias had a couple of big hits. The GCL Twins tried to come back from a big deficit in a rare night game in the Gulf Coast League.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Utility man Taylor Motter was released by the Twins. He’d been playing in Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 7 Box Score Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Red Wings. The right-hander went the first three innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out two in three innings. Tyler Duffey came on and gave up two runs on four hits in two innings. He struck out three. Ryne Harper gave up two runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. John Curtiss got the final four outs. Kennys Vargas had another strong game. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 16th double. Zander Wiel had a hit in his fist at bat, the first hit of his Triple-A career. Byron Buxton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 3 Box Score Clark Beeker made his first Double-A start for the Lookouts on Wednesday night. The right-hander from Davidson gave up just two hits over four shutout innings. He struck out two without issuing a walk. Anthony Marzi came on and worked the next two innings. The left-hander gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Tyler Jay worked the final two innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. The Lookouts had just five hits in this game. Jaylin Davis provided the offense with a two-run, first-inning homer, his sixth with the Lookouts. Brent Rooker had a single and was hit by a pitch. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Palm Beach 1 Box Score Andro Cutura missed nearly two seasons after Tommy John surgery. On Wednesday, he turned 25 and celebrated with a Win. The right-hander gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out four. Adam Bray gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game. Taylor Grzelakowski led the way with a 3-for-5 game. He hit his 23rd double. Mark Contreras went 2-for-4 with a walk and his 15th double. Eddie De La Trinidad was 2-for-5 with his second double. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with his seventh Miracle double. Caleb Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a walk. Ryan Costello also had two hits. Alex Kirilloff extended his on-base streak to 33 games. Jose Miranda also doubled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Wisconsin 4 Box Score Akil Baddoo paced the way early for the Kernels. In the first inning, he began the game with his 11th triple. An inning later, his 11th home run was a two-run shot that was the big hit in a five-run inning. Baddoo also walked once. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-5 with his sixth double and his second home run. Michael Helman went 2-for-4 with his third double. Michael Davis went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Trey Cabbage knocked his 19th double, which Ben Rodriguez’s first triple drove in two runs. Blayne Enlow made the start. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings to pick up his third win of the year. He walked one, hit two and struck out eight batters. Jared Finkel went the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk. Derek Molina got the final four outs and gave up just one hit. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 1 (11 innings) Box Score Jean Carlos Arias has struggled since being demoted to the E-Twins. He had an early single. In the ninth inning, he singled in the game-tying run. And in the bottom of the 11th inning, he singled in Trevor Casanova with the game-winning run. DaShawn Keirsey had a single and two walks. Tyler Palm had another strong start. The lanky right-hander started with six scoreless innings. His final line was one run over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out four. Augustana University’s Jacob Blank came on and gave up just one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. He intentionally walked one and struck out five to record his first professional win. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 7, GCL Rays 8 Box Score The Twins played a rare night game in the Gulf Coast League. A six-run fourth inning put the Twins in a hold. However, in the seventh inning, they mounted a comeback. They scored six runs of their own to tie the game. However, in the bottom of the inning, they gave up what proved to be the game-winning run. Prelander Berroa started and gave up seven runs (just two earned) on eight hits and a walk over the first 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Denny Bentley came on and finished out the fourth and worked a scoreless fifth inning. Steven Cruz gave up one run on one hit and three walks over the next 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Petru Balan got the final four outs. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Shane Carrier had two doubles in the game. Estamy Urena was 2-for-4 with a walk. Victor Tademo also had two hits in the game. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, game-tying and game-winning hits). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Jacob Blank, Elizabethton Twins (4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 IBB, 5 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-5 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2B(23), R, RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-4, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2B(6), HR(2), 2 R, 2 RBI #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, HBP, R, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 3B(11), HR(11), 2 R, 2 RBI #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-4, K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, 2B(7), R #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 0-1 #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-3 #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(3), R, RBI, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (4-6, 3.63 ERA) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-6, 3.55 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-1, 8.20 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Melvi Acosta (2-4, 2.56 ERA) Greeneville @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 2.95 ERA) GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Wednesday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  6. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Utility man Taylor Motter was released by the Twins. He’d been playing in Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 7 Box Score Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Red Wings. The right-hander went the first three innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out two in three innings. Tyler Duffey came on and gave up two runs on four hits in two innings. He struck out three. Ryne Harper gave up two runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. John Curtiss got the final four outs. Kennys Vargas had another strong game. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 16th double. Zander Wiel had a hit in his fist at bat, the first hit of his Triple-A career. Byron Buxton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 3 Box Score Clark Beeker made his first Double-A start for the Lookouts on Wednesday night. The right-hander from Davidson gave up just two hits over four shutout innings. He struck out two without issuing a walk. Anthony Marzi came on and worked the next two innings. The left-hander gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Tyler Jay worked the final two innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. The Lookouts had just five hits in this game. Jaylin Davis provided the offense with a two-run, first-inning homer, his sixth with the Lookouts. Brent Rooker had a single and was hit by a pitch. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Palm Beach 1 Box Score Andro Cutura missed nearly two seasons after Tommy John surgery. On Wednesday, he turned 25 and celebrated with a Win. The right-hander gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out four. Adam Bray gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game. Taylor Grzelakowski led the way with a 3-for-5 game. He hit his 23rd double. Mark Contreras went 2-for-4 with a walk and his 15th double. Eddie De La Trinidad was 2-for-5 with his second double. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with his seventh Miracle double. Caleb Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a walk. Ryan Costello also had two hits. Alex Kirilloff extended his on-base streak to 33 games. Jose Miranda also doubled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Wisconsin 4 Box Score Akil Baddoo paced the way early for the Kernels. In the first inning, he began the game with his 11th triple. An inning later, his 11th home run was a two-run shot that was the big hit in a five-run inning. Baddoo also walked once. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-5 with his sixth double and his second home run. Michael Helman went 2-for-4 with his third double. Michael Davis went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Trey Cabbage knocked his 19th double, which Ben Rodriguez’s first triple drove in two runs. Blayne Enlow made the start. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings to pick up his third win of the year. He walked one, hit two and struck out eight batters. Jared Finkel went the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk. Derek Molina got the final four outs and gave up just one hit. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 1 (11 innings) Box Score Jean Carlos Arias has struggled since being demoted to the E-Twins. He had an early single. In the ninth inning, he singled in the game-tying run. And in the bottom of the 11th inning, he singled in Trevor Casanova with the game-winning run. DaShawn Keirsey had a single and two walks. Tyler Palm had another strong start. The lanky right-hander started with six scoreless innings. His final line was one run over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out four. Augustana University’s Jacob Blank came on and gave up just one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. He intentionally walked one and struck out five to record his first professional win. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 7, GCL Rays 8 Box Score The Twins played a rare night game in the Gulf Coast League. A six-run fourth inning put the Twins in a hold. However, in the seventh inning, they mounted a comeback. They scored six runs of their own to tie the game. However, in the bottom of the inning, they gave up what proved to be the game-winning run. Prelander Berroa started and gave up seven runs (just two earned) on eight hits and a walk over the first 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Denny Bentley came on and finished out the fourth and worked a scoreless fifth inning. Steven Cruz gave up one run on one hit and three walks over the next 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Petru Balan got the final four outs. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Shane Carrier had two doubles in the game. Estamy Urena was 2-for-4 with a walk. Victor Tademo also had two hits in the game. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, game-tying and game-winning hits). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Jacob Blank, Elizabethton Twins (4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 IBB, 5 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-5 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2B(23), R, RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-4, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2B(6), HR(2), 2 R, 2 RBI #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, HBP, R, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 3B(11), HR(11), 2 R, 2 RBI #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-4, K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, 2B(7), R #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 0-1 #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-3 #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(3), R, RBI, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (4-6, 3.63 ERA) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-6, 3.55 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-1, 8.20 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Melvi Acosta (2-4, 2.56 ERA) Greeneville @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 2.95 ERA) GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Wednesday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  7. TRANSACTIONS There was only one transaction in the system on Sunday, but it was a fun one for the former #4 overall draft pick: Kohl Stewart was officially called up from Rochester and made his MLB debut on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations Kohl!!! https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1028710760736645121 https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1028743173911207937 RED WINGS REPORT Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 Box Score A Jeremy Hazelbaker two-run home run in the fifth inning to make it 2-1 Red Wings was the big hit in this one, but it was a close game throughout. Zack Littell went the first six innings and was in line for the win when he came out for his final frame, but a solo home run tied the game at two before he finished it. In all Littell went six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Rochester took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth as Nick Gordon led off the inning with a double and later scored on a single from Jon Kemmer. The Red Wings had just five hits in the victory. LaMonte Wade drew two walks and made a nice diving grab: https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1028734004462202880 The bullpen held it down from there with Jake Reed delivering two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Alan Busenitz came on in the ninth and set the Knights down in order, striking out the final two hitters he faced for his seventh save of the year. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 6, Chattanooga 1 Box Score The Generals were able to jump on Lookouts starter Jorge Alcala in the first inning, thanks in part to an error, and would never look back. Alcala gave up four runs in that first inning including a three-run home run, but two of those were of the unearned variety. He also walked one and hit a batter in the frame. Over his next three innings however, he retired all the hitters he faced and ten in a row, before being replaced for the fifth. He struck out five and allowed just three hits and a walk, all in that first inning. The Lookouts offense was unable to take advantage of the seven walks they drew, as they managed just four hits and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Luke Raley was 2-for-3 with a walk. Brent Rooker finished 1-for-4 with a K. Tanner English singled and scored their lone run. Luis Arreaz drew two walks. Anthony Marzi came on in relief of Alcala and continued the one-two-three trend for two more innings. He struck out one. Sam Clay came on for the seventh and another error led to a two-run home run that made the score 6-1. That was the only hit Clay allowed in addition to walking two and striking out one in two innings. Andrew Vasquez finished the game with a scoreless ninth. He hit one batter and allowed a single but buckled down with two strikeouts as well. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Florida 2 Box Score The Miracle got a solid start from Charlie Barnes and lights out bullpen work from a pair of relievers that allowed them to come from behind in this one. Barnes went the first five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. He allowed single runs in the third and fifth innings but escaped further damage with a bulldog mentality in each, striking out two hitters after allowing the run in each of those two frames. Down 2-1 in the seventh, Royce Lewis got a two-out rally started with his second triple with Miracle. He was driven in with a Taylor Grzelakowski double, and Jose Miranda followed with an RBI single to put them out front. Adam Bray was the first reliever after Barnes, and he delivered two scoreless frames. He allowed two hits, but also limited the damage as he struck out five and was credited with his second win. Hector Lujan finished the game with two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out three to pick up his third save. The offense was led by Grzelakowski who finished 3-for-4. Miranda also picked up two hits and drew two walks to reach base in all his plate appearances. Alex Kirilloff got the Miracle on the board in the third inning with an RBI double, his 18th two-bagger in the Florida State League and 38th overall. That hit also extended his current hitting streak to 10 games. There’s also this fun interview with shortstop Royce Lewis on how his play at shortstop has been going if you’d like to listen. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Jhoan Duran took the mound for his third start with his new team, but due to the long ball this one wasn’t quite as good. He allowed a solo home run in the second inning for the first run of the game, then a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 4-0. In all Duran went those five innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five. Moises Gomez went the next three innings to finish the game and gave up only an unearned run on one hit while striking out four. On offense the Kernels were unable to get anything going all game. They managed just three hits and one walk to go along with fifteen strikeouts. They left all four of those men on base and were only 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position so any opportunities were scarce. Ben Rodgriguez and Michael Davis each had a double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 5, Greeneville 9 Box Score The E-Twins were leading this one 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but that’s when things went off the rails for two pitchers. Josh Winder made the start and went the first five strong innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out four, retiring thirteen in a row at one point. J.T. Perez came on in the sixth and delivered a scoreless frame before getting two quick outs to start the seventh when all hell broke loose. Two walks and two singles made the game 2-1 and Zack Neff was summoned. Three more singles, an error, and a walk before a three-run homer meant the Reds scored nine runs with two outs to take control of the game. Jacob Blank finished the game for the Twins with a one-two-three eighth inning, but it was far too much for the offense to come back from. The Twins got a three-run homer from Colton Burns that made the final of 9-5 in the top of the ninth, but that would be it. Chris Williams (2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, BB) and Alex Robles (2-for-4, R, 2 2B, RBI) had multiple hits to lead the lineup. Burns’ home run was his fifth in Elizabethton. GCL TWINS TAKES Scheduled Day Off The GCL Twins squad had the day off on Sunday. They’ll begin a four-game set with the GCL Orioles on Monday. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (5 IP, 2 H, 4 K) Honorable Mention: Bullpens of Rochester, Chattanooga, Fort Myers, and Cedar Rapids (Combined 15 IP, 0 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 20 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers Miracle (3-for-4, R, 2B (21), RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, R, 3B (2) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, 2B (18), RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-for-4, 2B (12), 2 K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 3 K #9 -Wander Javier – Out for the season. #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-for-1, 2 BB #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, BB, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, K #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 0-for-3, R, BB #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) – Out for the season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play. #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-3, 2 K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 0-for-2, 2 BB MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) – TBD Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (6-3, 2.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.21 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games!
  8. There wasn’t much offense in the system on Sunday afternoon, as the five affiliates in action combined for just 12 runs on 27 hits. Those equate to averages of 2.4 runs per game and 5.4 hits. But it wasn’t all bad, as the bullpens of four of them had strong efforts and even led their teams to a couple of wins. To find out how all your favorite prospects did on Sunday, as well as just how strong those bullpens pitched, keep reading and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments!TRANSACTIONS There was only one transaction in the system on Sunday, but it was a fun one for the former #4 overall draft pick: Kohl Stewart was officially called up from Rochester and made his MLB debut on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations Kohl!!! RED WINGS REPORT Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 Box Score A Jeremy Hazelbaker two-run home run in the fifth inning to make it 2-1 Red Wings was the big hit in this one, but it was a close game throughout. Zack Littell went the first six innings and was in line for the win when he came out for his final frame, but a solo home run tied the game at two before he finished it. In all Littell went six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Rochester took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth as Nick Gordon led off the inning with a double and later scored on a single from Jon Kemmer. The Red Wings had just five hits in the victory. LaMonte Wade drew two walks and made a nice diving grab: The bullpen held it down from there with Jake Reed delivering two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Alan Busenitz came on in the ninth and set the Knights down in order, striking out the final two hitters he faced for his seventh save of the year. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 6, Chattanooga 1 Box Score The Generals were able to jump on Lookouts starter Jorge Alcala in the first inning, thanks in part to an error, and would never look back. Alcala gave up four runs in that first inning including a three-run home run, but two of those were of the unearned variety. He also walked one and hit a batter in the frame. Over his next three innings however, he retired all the hitters he faced and ten in a row, before being replaced for the fifth. He struck out five and allowed just three hits and a walk, all in that first inning. The Lookouts offense was unable to take advantage of the seven walks they drew, as they managed just four hits and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Luke Raley was 2-for-3 with a walk. Brent Rooker finished 1-for-4 with a K. Tanner English singled and scored their lone run. Luis Arreaz drew two walks. Anthony Marzi came on in relief of Alcala and continued the one-two-three trend for two more innings. He struck out one. Sam Clay came on for the seventh and another error led to a two-run home run that made the score 6-1. That was the only hit Clay allowed in addition to walking two and striking out one in two innings. Andrew Vasquez finished the game with a scoreless ninth. He hit one batter and allowed a single but buckled down with two strikeouts as well. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Florida 2 Box Score The Miracle got a solid start from Charlie Barnes and lights out bullpen work from a pair of relievers that allowed them to come from behind in this one. Barnes went the first five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. He allowed single runs in the third and fifth innings but escaped further damage with a bulldog mentality in each, striking out two hitters after allowing the run in each of those two frames. Down 2-1 in the seventh, Royce Lewis got a two-out rally started with his second triple with Miracle. He was driven in with a Taylor Grzelakowski double, and Jose Miranda followed with an RBI single to put them out front. Adam Bray was the first reliever after Barnes, and he delivered two scoreless frames. He allowed two hits, but also limited the damage as he struck out five and was credited with his second win. Hector Lujan finished the game with two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out three to pick up his third save. The offense was led by Grzelakowski who finished 3-for-4. Miranda also picked up two hits and drew two walks to reach base in all his plate appearances. Alex Kirilloff got the Miracle on the board in the third inning with an RBI double, his 18th two-bagger in the Florida State League and 38th overall. That hit also extended his current hitting streak to 10 games. There’s also this fun interview with shortstop Royce Lewis on how his play at shortstop has been going if you’d like to listen. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Jhoan Duran took the mound for his third start with his new team, but due to the long ball this one wasn’t quite as good. He allowed a solo home run in the second inning for the first run of the game, then a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 4-0. In all Duran went those five innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five. Moises Gomez went the next three innings to finish the game and gave up only an unearned run on one hit while striking out four. On offense the Kernels were unable to get anything going all game. They managed just three hits and one walk to go along with fifteen strikeouts. They left all four of those men on base and were only 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position so any opportunities were scarce. Ben Rodgriguez and Michael Davis each had a double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 5, Greeneville 9 Box Score The E-Twins were leading this one 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but that’s when things went off the rails for two pitchers. Josh Winder made the start and went the first five strong innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out four, retiring thirteen in a row at one point. J.T. Perez came on in the sixth and delivered a scoreless frame before getting two quick outs to start the seventh when all hell broke loose. Two walks and two singles made the game 2-1 and Zack Neff was summoned. Three more singles, an error, and a walk before a three-run homer meant the Reds scored nine runs with two outs to take control of the game. Jacob Blank finished the game for the Twins with a one-two-three eighth inning, but it was far too much for the offense to come back from. The Twins got a three-run homer from Colton Burns that made the final of 9-5 in the top of the ninth, but that would be it. Chris Williams (2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, BB) and Alex Robles (2-for-4, R, 2 2B, RBI) had multiple hits to lead the lineup. Burns’ home run was his fifth in Elizabethton. GCL TWINS TAKES Scheduled Day Off The GCL Twins squad had the day off on Sunday. They’ll begin a four-game set with the GCL Orioles on Monday. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (5 IP, 2 H, 4 K) Honorable Mention: Bullpens of Rochester, Chattanooga, Fort Myers, and Cedar Rapids (Combined 15 IP, 0 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 20 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers Miracle (3-for-4, R, 2B (21), RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, R, 3B (2) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, 2B (18), RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-for-4, 2B (12), 2 K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 3 K #9 -Wander Javier – Out for the season. #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-for-1, 2 BB #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, BB, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, K #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 0-for-3, R, BB #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) – Out for the season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play. #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-3, 2 K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 0-for-2, 2 BB MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) – TBD Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (6-3, 2.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.21 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games! Click here to view the article
  9. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins officially placed OF/DH Robbie Grossman on the disabled list. They recalled OF Johnny Field who they claimed last week from Cleveland. He had spent much of the first half with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Lookouts announced that RHP Jorge Alcala was activated from the DL. LHP Anthony Marzi was sent back to Ft. Myers. In moves that we mentioned here yesterday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that infielder Jose Miranda had been promoted to Ft. Myers. Infielder and 2018 draft pick Michael Helman was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton. Ft. Myers announced the RHP Dylan Stowell was returned to the GCL Twins. Brandon Lopez was released by the Twins organization. The former 10th-round pick out of Miami was playing with the Miracle. Following the Elizabethton games, Dan Hayes reported on Twitter that OF Trevor Larnach has been promoted to Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score The Red Wings had a day off before beginning a series at home against Toledo. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga, Mississippi Box Score Jorge Alcala was one of two quality prospects acquired by the Twins from the Houston Astros in the July trade. Upon being added to the Lookouts roster, he was placed on the 7-day DL with a right trapezius strain. Seven days later, he came off of the DL to start on Monday night. Likely limited to 60 pitches, he reached that number with two outs in the third inning. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up three runs on two hits, but both hits went over the outfield wall for home runs. He also walked three and struck out two. Here is a tweet-sized scouting report from Chris Blessing who was on hand. https://twitter.com/C_Blessing/status/1026619915053277184 Tyler Jay came on next. He got the final out of the third inning, but he gave up four runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Williams Ramirez gave up one run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Ryan Eades got four outs, two on strikeouts. Devin Smeltzer gave up a run on a hit and a walk in his inning. The Lookouts had just five hits in the game. Luis Arraez drove in two runs. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk, his 11th double and an RBI. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 13, Lakeland 0 Box Score In the first of what will hopefully be many, many meetings, Royce Lewis won Round 1 of the Battle of #1 PIcks tonight against Tigers 2018 top pick Casey Mize. In his first at-bat against Mize, Lewis hit a solid single to left field. In the next at bat, Lewis launched a two-run homer. Mize went just three innings on this night, his Florida State League debut, and gave up three runs on five hits. Taylor Grzelakowski followed Lewis’s homer with one of his own. Lewis kept hitting. He went 4-for-6 with two home runs (he added a two-run homer in the ninth inning as well). https://twitter.com/JasonAtTheGame/status/1026658445246844933 Grzelakowski went 2-for-5 with his seventh homer. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs. Caleb Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a walk. Travis Blankenhorn added his 11th homer of the season. Charlie Barnes started and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three batters, but he was at 81 pitches when he came out. Hector Lujan came on and kept the shutout intact for the next 3 2/3 innings.He gave up one hit and struck out four. He has not allowed a run since July 8, a run of 19 scoreless innings. Ryan Mason struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 2 Box Score Edwar Colina had a tremendous start on Monday afternoon in Cedar Rapids. The right-hander threw eight innings and was charged with two unearned runs. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out eight. He needed just 87 pitches as well. Kevin Marnon came on and struck out two in a perfect ninth to record his third Kernels save. Colina improved to 6-3. Michael Davis led off the bottom of the third with his third home run of his Kernels career. Ariel Montesino followed with a double. He later scored on a fielder’s choice. Michael Helman, making his first Kernels start, singled in his first two at-bats and ended the day 2-for-4. Montesino went 2-for-3 with his fourth double and first triple. Akil Baddoo added his ninth triple of the year. E-TWINS E-TALK Game 1 - Elizabethton 1, Kingsport 5 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the nod for the E-Twins in Game 1. The southpaw gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings. He struck out six and didn’t issue a walk. Blair Lakso went the final three innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits. He walked three and struck out three. Alex Robles provided most of the Twins offense. He went 3-for-3 with his second home run of the season. Yunior Severino added his sixth double, while Trevor Larnach doubled for the fourth time. Game 2 - Elizabethton 2, Kingsport 7 Box Score In the second game, the E-Twins went hitless until Yunior Severino dropped a single to right field with two outs in the sixth inning. Brian Rapp made the start and gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four. Seth Pinkerton gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.. He struck out four batters. Jacob Blank got the final out but not before allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Down 7-0, the E-Twins tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning but fell short. Trevor Larnach led off with a single which was followed by a walk by Chris Williams. Gilberto Celestino singled in a run, their first. Trevor Casanova followed with a sacrifice fly. But that is where the rally ended. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 11 Box Score The big story in this game was the return of Michael Pineda. The tall, burly right-hander signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Twins in the offseason despite having Tommy John surgery last summer. On Monday, he made his first rehab appearance in the Gulf Coast League game. In two scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, ,walked one and struck out three batters. https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/status/1026575896675799040 Andriu Marin came on and threw scoreless innings up in the third and fourth frames. In the fifth, he was charged with six runs. Osiris German got the final two outs of that inning but not before giving up two more runs. German did work a scoreless sixth inning. Erik Cha came on and gave up two runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out three. Petru Balan gave up one run on two hits in his inning. He struck out two. Gabe Snyder led the offense. He hit his seventh double and third home run and drove in four runs. Janigson Vallalobos went 2-for-4 with his second triple. Victor Tademo was 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Hunter Lee had two hits, including his third double. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Ft. Myers Miracle (4-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers Miracle (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 4-6, 2 HR(3), 3 R, 5 RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2B(4), K | 1-2, HBP, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, 2 K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, 2 BB, K, 3B(9) #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not play #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Disabled List #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, HR(11), R, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Rained out. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(6),K | 1-3, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - will have surgery on his wrist soon. Out for season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 2 RBI, R #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, BB, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Toledo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (3-4, 3.58 ERA) Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 3.41 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  10. It’s safe to say that the first Battle of #1 Picks went in favor of Royce Lewis. The Miracle were in Lakeland, the Florida State League affiliate of Detroit Tigers.On the mound to face the Miracle was 2018 #1 overall pick Casey Mize, a right-hander from Auburn. Lewis led off with a single, and in his second at-bat, he drilled a two-run homer. Mize went just three innings, and Lewis and the Miracle went on to a big win. Hopefully we'll be following Casey Mize/Royce Lewis at-bats for many years.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins officially placed OF/DH Robbie Grossman on the disabled list. They recalled OF Johnny Field who they claimed last week from Cleveland. He had spent much of the first half with the Tampa Bay Rays.The Lookouts announced that RHP Jorge Alcala was activated from the DL. LHP Anthony Marzi was sent back to Ft. Myers.In moves that we mentioned here yesterday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that infielder Jose Miranda had been promoted to Ft. Myers. Infielder and 2018 draft pick Michael Helman was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton.Ft. Myers announced the RHP Dylan Stowell was returned to the GCL Twins.Brandon Lopez was released by the Twins organization. The former 10th-round pick out of Miami was playing with the Miracle.Following the Elizabethton games, Dan Hayes reported on Twitter that OF Trevor Larnach has been promoted to Cedar Rapids. Andriu Marin came on and threw scoreless innings up in the third and fourth frames. In the fifth, he was charged with six runs. Osiris German got the final two outs of that inning but not before giving up two more runs. German did work a scoreless sixth inning. Erik Cha came on and gave up two runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out three. Petru Balan gave up one run on two hits in his inning. He struck out two. Gabe Snyder led the offense. He hit his seventh double and third home run and drove in four runs. Janigson Vallalobos went 2-for-4 with his second triple. Victor Tademo was 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Hunter Lee had two hits, including his third double. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Ft. Myers Miracle (4-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers Miracle (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 4-6, 2 HR(3), 3 R, 5 RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2B(4), K | 1-2, HBP, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, 2 K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, 2 BB, K, 3B(9) #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not play #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Disabled List #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, HR(11), R, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Rained out. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(6),K | 1-3, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - will have surgery on his wrist soon. Out for season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 2 RBI, R #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, BB, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Toledo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (3-4, 3.58 ERA) Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 3.41 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  11. Transactions – Fort Myers placed Joe Cronin on the DL retroactive to July 24th with a sore wrist, and Victor Tademo was promoted from the GCL Twins to take his place. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0 @ Indianapolis 4 Box Score Rochester managed just four hits and could not keep Indianapolis off the board. LaMonte Wade and Andy Wilkins both had a double but outside of those two only Kennys Vargas and Jeremy Hazelbaker managed singles. Nick Gordon was 0-for-3 with a walk. Starter Fernando Romero went 7 2/3 innings, mostly cruising after giving up three runs in the first. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Luke Bard recorded the final out for the Red Wings, striking out the only batter he faced. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 4 @ Chattanooga 1 Box Score Chattanooga outhit Pensacola 7-6 but managed only one run and committed three errors, falling 4-1. Brent Rooker had a solid night, 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. No other hitter had multiple hits, but Chris Paul hit a solo home run as part of his 1-for-4 evening. Dietrich Enns was tagged with the loss, going seven innings and giving up just three hits and two runs. He struck out six. Andrew Vasquez went 1 inning and gave up another two runs (one earned) and struck out three. Sam Clay pitched a scoreless ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 9 @ Dayton 8 Box Score Alex Kirilloff extended his hitting streak to ten games, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs as the designated hitter, helping the Miracle win an 11-inning squeaker. The Miracle scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, but Daytona scored another run in the bottom half of the inning to force extras. Each team scored two runs in the 10th to keep the game alive, and Fort Myers took the lead for good scoring a run in the top of the 11th on a fielding error. Royce Lewis was 2-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Taylor Grzelakowski had a huge night, 5-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Ben Rodriguez had a pair of hits as well as part of his 2-for-6 night with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. While not terribly effective as a unit, giving up eight runs, the Miracle pitching staff did just enough to guide them to a win. Griffin Jax pitched the first four innings giving up five runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking none. Alex Robinson pitched two and gave up just one one, striking out four. Adam Bray pitched two more innings, giving up no hits, he walked one and struck out four. Ryan Mason earned a blown save and the win with two innings of three-run baseball. Colton Davis kept the Tortugas off the board in the eleventh inning earning his first save of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 1 @ Cedar Rapids 9 Box Score Cedar Rapids gave the home crowd of 2,327 plenty to cheer about, drubbing the Lumberkings 9-1. The Kernels were led by Michael Davis who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a walk. He scored two runs and contributed three RBIs. Jared Akins also had a pair of hits and three RBIs of his own. Starter Tyler Watson went seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out nine. Jared Finkel pitched the final two innings, keeping Clinton hitless and he struck out a pair. Elizabethton Twins Talk Elizabethton 0 @ Burlington 5 Box Score The Twins struggled to hit and score runs on Thursday night. E-Town managed just three hits, one from Yunior Severino, one from Alex Robles, and one from Tyler Webb. None went for extra bases. As a team the Twins were just 3-for-30 with 3 walks and 5 strike outs. Starter Andrew Cabezas went six innings and gave up just two runs, one earned, scattering four hits. He struck out five and did not walk anyone. Tanner Howell replaced him for two innings and gave up three runs on three hits. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 3 @ GCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins fell behind early and couldn’t muster enough runs against the GCL Rays, falling 3-1. The GCL Twins managed just four hits, one each from Yeison Perez, Janigson Villalobos, Christian Cavaness and Estamy Urena. Twins started Landon Leach went five innings, giving up just a pair of hits and an unearned run, but left with the game tied and earned a no-decision. Denny Bentley was tagged with the loss after giving up a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings, on three hits. Osiris German pitched a clean two-thirds innings and Junior Navas gave up four hits over two innings but kept the Rays off the board. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Watson, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-7, 2 R, 1 K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-4, 1 BB 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-3, 1 BB 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-3, 1 K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-4, 2 BB, 1 K 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-4, 1 K 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): Did not play 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 1-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:00pm) – Zack Littell (1-4, 3.63) Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 3.89) Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Brusdar Graterol (1-2, 6.20) Cedar Rapids (7:35pm) – Bailey Ober (7-1, 3.88) Elizabethton (6:00pm) – TBD GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  12. Not a ton of hits and runs to go around and only one really decent pitching performance all around, but the Top 20 prospects performed admirably. Take a look below.Transactions – Fort Myers placed Joe Cronin on the DL retroactive to July 24th with a sore wrist, and Victor Tademo was promoted from the GCL Twins to take his place. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0 @ Indianapolis 4 Box Score Rochester managed just four hits and could not keep Indianapolis off the board. LaMonte Wade and Andy Wilkins both had a double but outside of those two only Kennys Vargas and Jeremy Hazelbaker managed singles. Nick Gordon was 0-for-3 with a walk. Starter Fernando Romero went 7 2/3 innings, mostly cruising after giving up three runs in the first. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Luke Bard recorded the final out for the Red Wings, striking out the only batter he faced. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 4 @ Chattanooga 1 Box Score Chattanooga outhit Pensacola 7-6 but managed only one run and committed three errors, falling 4-1. Brent Rooker had a solid night, 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. No other hitter had multiple hits, but Chris Paul hit a solo home run as part of his 1-for-4 evening. Dietrich Enns was tagged with the loss, going seven innings and giving up just three hits and two runs. He struck out six. Andrew Vasquez went 1 inning and gave up another two runs (one earned) and struck out three. Sam Clay pitched a scoreless ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 9 @ Dayton 8 Box Score Alex Kirilloff extended his hitting streak to ten games, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs as the designated hitter, helping the Miracle win an 11-inning squeaker. The Miracle scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, but Daytona scored another run in the bottom half of the inning to force extras. Each team scored two runs in the 10th to keep the game alive, and Fort Myers took the lead for good scoring a run in the top of the 11th on a fielding error. Royce Lewis was 2-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Taylor Grzelakowski had a huge night, 5-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Ben Rodriguez had a pair of hits as well as part of his 2-for-6 night with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. While not terribly effective as a unit, giving up eight runs, the Miracle pitching staff did just enough to guide them to a win. Griffin Jax pitched the first four innings giving up five runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking none. Alex Robinson pitched two and gave up just one one, striking out four. Adam Bray pitched two more innings, giving up no hits, he walked one and struck out four. Ryan Mason earned a blown save and the win with two innings of three-run baseball. Colton Davis kept the Tortugas off the board in the eleventh inning earning his first save of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 1 @ Cedar Rapids 9 Box Score Cedar Rapids gave the home crowd of 2,327 plenty to cheer about, drubbing the Lumberkings 9-1. The Kernels were led by Michael Davis who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a walk. He scored two runs and contributed three RBIs. Jared Akins also had a pair of hits and three RBIs of his own. Starter Tyler Watson went seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out nine. Jared Finkel pitched the final two innings, keeping Clinton hitless and he struck out a pair. Elizabethton Twins Talk Elizabethton 0 @ Burlington 5 Box Score The Twins struggled to hit and score runs on Thursday night. E-Town managed just three hits, one from Yunior Severino, one from Alex Robles, and one from Tyler Webb. None went for extra bases. As a team the Twins were just 3-for-30 with 3 walks and 5 strike outs. Starter Andrew Cabezas went six innings and gave up just two runs, one earned, scattering four hits. He struck out five and did not walk anyone. Tanner Howell replaced him for two innings and gave up three runs on three hits. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 3 @ GCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins fell behind early and couldn’t muster enough runs against the GCL Rays, falling 3-1. The GCL Twins managed just four hits, one each from Yeison Perez, Janigson Villalobos, Christian Cavaness and Estamy Urena. Twins started Landon Leach went five innings, giving up just a pair of hits and an unearned run, but left with the game tied and earned a no-decision. Denny Bentley was tagged with the loss after giving up a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings, on three hits. Osiris German pitched a clean two-thirds innings and Junior Navas gave up four hits over two innings but kept the Rays off the board. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Watson, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-7, 2 R, 1 K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-4, 1 BB 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-3, 1 BB 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-3, 1 K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-4, 2 BB, 1 K 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-4, 1 K 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): Did not play 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 1-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:00pm) – Zack Littell (1-4, 3.63) Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 3.89) Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Brusdar Graterol (1-2, 6.20) Cedar Rapids (7:35pm) – Bailey Ober (7-1, 3.88) Elizabethton (6:00pm) – TBD GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  13. The Triple A All-Star break is upon us. The short-season leagues are in full swing. There were a number of low-scoring contests in the Twins farm system on Monday. Weil and Webb provided offense. The catcher’s mitt was Poppen for Ft. Myers, and Kirilloff and Gelly provided the offense.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Outfielder Ryan LaMarre was claimed by the Chicago White Sox.The Twins released Felix Jorge last week, but they announced Monday night that they have re-signed him to a minor league deal.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score The Red Wings are now on their All-Star break. Willians Astudillo was the one Red Wings player to make the International League All-Star team. Since Astudillo was called up to the big league club, Nick Anderson will represent the Red Wings. The International League will take on the Pacific Coast League All-Stars on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 3 Box Score Sean Poppen probably deserves better, but part of the development process is getting your work. Through six innings, Poppen had yet to allow a run and had given up just two hits. But he went out for the seventh inning and gave up three runs on two homers. So, over his seven innings, he gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven without issuing a walk. It was a quality start, yet it doesn’t highlight just how well he pitched. Cody Stashak worked a scoreless inning in relief. The offense provided just two runs. Zander Wiel went 2-for-4 with his 19th double and first triple. Jaylin Davis also had two hits. Taylor Motter added his first double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 6 Box Score The Miracle got behind early and weren’t able to come back. Andro Cutura started and was charged with five runs on five hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Colton Davis went the next 3 1/3 innings and did not allow a run. He gave up three hits and struck out four. Ryan Mason went the next 3 1/3 innings and also did not allow a run. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out two. Brady Anderson walked two, but he got the final two outs of the game without allowing a run. The Miracle had just five hits. Taylor Grzelakowski went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Alex Kirilloff had two singles. Miguel Sano went 0-4 with a strikeout. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 3 Box Score Royce Lewis had a day off, but he was called on to pinch hit in the ninth inning. He came through with a single to center field which loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, the Kernels were not able to score the game-tying run and lost a close one. Randy Dobnak again provided the Kernels with exactly what they needed, quality innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk over the first seven innings. He struck out four and needed just 89 pitches. Melvi Acosta came in for the eighth inning and gave up a run on four hits. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 3-for-5 with his 18th double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-for-5 with his eighth triple. David Banuelos went 2-for-5 with his 11th double, and Jared Akins went 2-for-5 with his first Kernels double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 2, Danville 0 Box Score The story of this game was some terrific pitching for the Twins. 2018 draft pick Kody Funderburk gave up four hits and no runs over the first four innings. He walked two and struck one out. Moises Gomez worked the middle three innings. He gave up just one hit and walked one while striking out two. Derek Molina recorded his second save. He struck out four batters over two perfect innings. The E-Twins managed just three hits in the game but were able to score two runs. Chris Williams and Alex Robles had back-to-back bases-loaded RBI singles in the sixth inning to provide the run support. Ryan Jeffers went 1-for-2 with two walks in the game. On a side note, Zack Seipel, Atlanta’s 27th round pick in June, worked two scoreless innings. . He walked one and struck out two. He was drafted out of the University of Minnesota-Crookston. It was the fourth appearance of his professional career. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 6 Box Score Steven Cruz started for the Twins. He gave up four runs on two hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out four. Michael Montero came on and gave up one hit over 3 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck one out. Denny Bentley threw two scoreless innings. Erik Cha was charged with two unearned runs on one hit. Tyler Webb led the offense by going 4-for-5 in the game. Janigson Villalobos went 2-for-3 with his third double. Samuel Vasquez was 2-for-5. Side note: 2017 #4 overall pick Brendan McKay made a rehab appearance for the GCL Rays. He had not played for the last month due to oblique muscle tightness. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Also, Jelfry Marte, who agreed to terms with the Twins a year ago but never signed after the Twins withdrew their offer after his physical. Marte went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .271. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Tyler Webb, GCL Twins (4-5) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Sean Poppen, Chattanooga Lookouts (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-1 (used as pinch hitter) #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - All Star break #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - All Star break #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, K #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, K #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB, R, K, SB(16) #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, RBI, K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - All Star break #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K, R #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - 0-3, BB, R, K #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - DFAd and Released and Re-signed on Monday. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - All Star break Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05 CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (3-6, 3.48 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  14. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Outfielder Ryan LaMarre was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. The Twins released Felix Jorge last week, but they announced Monday night that they have re-signed him to a minor league deal. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score The Red Wings are now on their All-Star break. Willians Astudillo was the one Red Wings player to make the International League All-Star team. Since Astudillo was called up to the big league club, Nick Anderson will represent the Red Wings. The International League will take on the Pacific Coast League All-Stars on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 3 Box Score Sean Poppen probably deserves better, but part of the development process is getting your work. Through six innings, Poppen had yet to allow a run and had given up just two hits. But he went out for the seventh inning and gave up three runs on two homers. So, over his seven innings, he gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven without issuing a walk. It was a quality start, yet it doesn’t highlight just how well he pitched. Cody Stashak worked a scoreless inning in relief. The offense provided just two runs. Zander Wiel went 2-for-4 with his 19th double and first triple. Jaylin Davis also had two hits. Taylor Motter added his first double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 6 Box Score The Miracle got behind early and weren’t able to come back. Andro Cutura started and was charged with five runs on five hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Colton Davis went the next 3 1/3 innings and did not allow a run. He gave up three hits and struck out four. Ryan Mason went the next 3 1/3 innings and also did not allow a run. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out two. Brady Anderson walked two, but he got the final two outs of the game without allowing a run. The Miracle had just five hits. Taylor Grzelakowski went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Alex Kirilloff had two singles. Miguel Sano went 0-4 with a strikeout. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 3 Box Score Royce Lewis had a day off, but he was called on to pinch hit in the ninth inning. He came through with a single to center field which loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, the Kernels were not able to score the game-tying run and lost a close one. Randy Dobnak again provided the Kernels with exactly what they needed, quality innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk over the first seven innings. He struck out four and needed just 89 pitches. Melvi Acosta came in for the eighth inning and gave up a run on four hits. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 3-for-5 with his 18th double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-for-5 with his eighth triple. David Banuelos went 2-for-5 with his 11th double, and Jared Akins went 2-for-5 with his first Kernels double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 2, Danville 0 Box Score The story of this game was some terrific pitching for the Twins. 2018 draft pick Kody Funderburk gave up four hits and no runs over the first four innings. He walked two and struck one out. Moises Gomez worked the middle three innings. He gave up just one hit and walked one while striking out two. Derek Molina recorded his second save. He struck out four batters over two perfect innings. The E-Twins managed just three hits in the game but were able to score two runs. Chris Williams and Alex Robles had back-to-back bases-loaded RBI singles in the sixth inning to provide the run support. Ryan Jeffers went 1-for-2 with two walks in the game. On a side note, Zack Seipel, Atlanta’s 27th round pick in June, worked two scoreless innings. . He walked one and struck out two. He was drafted out of the University of Minnesota-Crookston. It was the fourth appearance of his professional career. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 6 Box Score Steven Cruz started for the Twins. He gave up four runs on two hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out four. Michael Montero came on and gave up one hit over 3 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck one out. Denny Bentley threw two scoreless innings. Erik Cha was charged with two unearned runs on one hit. Tyler Webb led the offense by going 4-for-5 in the game. Janigson Villalobos went 2-for-3 with his third double. Samuel Vasquez was 2-for-5. Side note: 2017 #4 overall pick Brendan McKay made a rehab appearance for the GCL Rays. He had not played for the last month due to oblique muscle tightness. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Also, Jelfry Marte, who agreed to terms with the Twins a year ago but never signed after the Twins withdrew their offer after his physical. Marte went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .271. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Tyler Webb, GCL Twins (4-5) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Sean Poppen, Chattanooga Lookouts (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-1 (used as pinch hitter) #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - All Star break #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - All Star break #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, K #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, K #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB, R, K, SB(16) #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, RBI, K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - All Star break #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K, R #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - 0-3, BB, R, K #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - DFAd and Released and Re-signed on Monday. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - All Star break Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05 CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (3-6, 3.48 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  15. TRANSACTIONS Hmmm, where to start? Well, I suppose Miguel Sano being demoted to Fort Myers was something worth mentioning, huh? Joe Mauer’s rehab assignment with Rochester ended. He was 0-for-10 with two strikeouts and no walks. Also, Jake Cave was optioned to Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Buffalo 1 Box Score W: Adalberto Mejia (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) Multi-hit games: Zack Granite, Kennys Vargas Adalberto Mejia! Zack Granite! Kennys Vargas! Remember those guys? Well, they’re still around, and they all helped lift the Red Wings to a win tonight. Mejia gave up just one run on four hits in six innings of work, lowering his ERA to 3.47 on the season. He struck out six and walked three batters. Granite was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored while Vargas was 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs. Nick Anderson had hit a bit of a rough patch, but he got back on track again tonight, pitching two scoreless innings. John Curtis picked up his fourth save. All three of Rochester’s runs were scored in the first inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 3, Chattanooga 0 Box Score SP: Omar Bencomo (5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) It was a really rough night for the Chattanooga bats. The Lookouts were shut out, only had five hits, drew zero walks and struck out 11 times. I usually don’t mention opposing players, but Birmingham pitcher Dane Dunning is looking like a stud. He was a first-round pick out of Florida back in 2016 and made most of the top 100 prospect lists this season. He was originally drafted by the Nationals, who traded him to the … Chicago White Sox. Aw man, seriously? Edgar Corcino got the only extra-base hit of the night for Chattanooga, a double. Omar Bencomo gave up three runs on nine hits over five innings. He struck out seven. Tyler Jay (two innings) and Cody Stashak (one inning) combined for a scoreless night from the bullpen. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 3, Fort Myers 2 (10 innings) Box Score SP: Charlie Barnes (5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) HR: Taylor Grzelakowski (6) Multi-hit games: Ben Rortvedt, Travis Blankenhorn Charlie Barnes didn’t get his first full season as a professional off to a great start, but he’s been rolling as of late. Last year’s fourth-round pick had a 5.14 ERA through his first five starts, but since then he’s pitched to a 3.12 mark. Barnes gave up one run on just two hits in 5 2/3 innings tonight, but unfortunately the Miracle bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead. Ben Rortvedt was 3-for-4. They’ve all been singles, but he’s 6-for-15 (.400) since being promoted. Rortvedt’s arrival has provided an opportunity for fellow catcher Taylor Gzelakowski to get work in elsewhere. He started in left field tonight and hit his sixth homer. Travis Blankenhorn and Jaylin DAvis each reached safely twice and they also both stole a base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Kane County 3 Box Score W: Bailey Ober (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff 2 (13) Multi-hit games: Kirilloff, Robby Rinn, Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, David Banuelos Take a bow, Alex Kirilloff. This was his first four-hit game of the season and second multi-homer effort. He’s tearing apart Midwest League pitching, posting a line of .329/.386/.608. It would have been understandable if Alex had gotten off to a slow start after missing all of last season, but he’s been a beast from the get-go. In a season that hasn’t had many positives for Twins fans, this young man represents a brilliant beam of sunshine. There were plenty of other strong performers for Cedar Rapids, as Robby Rinn had three hits, both Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda had two doubles and David Banuelos reached safely three times. The Kernels were actually trailing 1-0 after the first inning, but Bailey Ober ended up getting settled in. He went seven innings, needing only 79 pitches to do so, and gave up two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out seven batters and threw 72.2 percent of his pitches for strikes. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Bailey Ober, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis, CR: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, BB 2. Fernando Romero, MIN 3. Nick Gordon, ROC: 0-for-4 4. Stephen Gonsalves, ROC: Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff, CR: 4-for-6, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBIs 6. Wander Javier: Out for the season with a shoulder injury. 7. Brent Rooker, CHAT: 0-for-4, 2 Ks 8. Blayne Enlow, CR: Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol, CR: Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo, CR: 1-for-5, BB 11. Zack Littell, ROC: Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe, CHAT: Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz, FM: 1-for-5, K 14. LaMonte Wade, ROC: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BBs 15. Mitch Garver, MIN 16. Ben Rortvedt, FM: 3-for-4 17. Travis Blankenhorn, FM: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K 18. Yunior Severino: Expected to join E-Town. 19. Tyler Jay, CHAT: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K 20. Felix Jorge: Out with knee injury. FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Buffalo, 6:05 pm CT (Zack Littell) Chattanooga at Birmingham, 7:05 pm CT (Kohl Stewart) Fort Myers OFF Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  16. Alex Kirilloff has been among the most impressive prospects in the Twins system all year, but he may have had his best game yet in what was an impressive offensive output from the Kernels Thursday night. Also, some familiar faces had strong performances for Rochester and there were some noteworthy transactions.TRANSACTIONS Hmmm, where to start? Well, I suppose Miguel Sano being demoted to Fort Myers was something worth mentioning, huh? Joe Mauer’s rehab assignment with Rochester ended. He was 0-for-10 with two strikeouts and no walks. Also, Jake Cave was optioned to Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Buffalo 1 Box Score W: Adalberto Mejia (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) Multi-hit games: Zack Granite, Kennys Vargas Adalberto Mejia! Zack Granite! Kennys Vargas! Remember those guys? Well, they’re still around, and they all helped lift the Red Wings to a win tonight. Mejia gave up just one run on four hits in six innings of work, lowering his ERA to 3.47 on the season. He struck out six and walked three batters. Granite was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored while Vargas was 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs. Nick Anderson had hit a bit of a rough patch, but he got back on track again tonight, pitching two scoreless innings. John Curtis picked up his fourth save. All three of Rochester’s runs were scored in the first inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 3, Chattanooga 0 Box Score SP: Omar Bencomo (5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) It was a really rough night for the Chattanooga bats. The Lookouts were shut out, only had five hits, drew zero walks and struck out 11 times. I usually don’t mention opposing players, but Birmingham pitcher Dane Dunning is looking like a stud. He was a first-round pick out of Florida back in 2016 and made most of the top 100 prospect lists this season. He was originally drafted by the Nationals, who traded him to the … Chicago White Sox. Aw man, seriously? Edgar Corcino got the only extra-base hit of the night for Chattanooga, a double. Omar Bencomo gave up three runs on nine hits over five innings. He struck out seven. Tyler Jay (two innings) and Cody Stashak (one inning) combined for a scoreless night from the bullpen. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 3, Fort Myers 2 (10 innings) Box Score SP: Charlie Barnes (5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) HR: Taylor Grzelakowski (6) Multi-hit games: Ben Rortvedt, Travis Blankenhorn Charlie Barnes didn’t get his first full season as a professional off to a great start, but he’s been rolling as of late. Last year’s fourth-round pick had a 5.14 ERA through his first five starts, but since then he’s pitched to a 3.12 mark. Barnes gave up one run on just two hits in 5 2/3 innings tonight, but unfortunately the Miracle bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead. Ben Rortvedt was 3-for-4. They’ve all been singles, but he’s 6-for-15 (.400) since being promoted. Rortvedt’s arrival has provided an opportunity for fellow catcher Taylor Gzelakowski to get work in elsewhere. He started in left field tonight and hit his sixth homer. Travis Blankenhorn and Jaylin DAvis each reached safely twice and they also both stole a base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Kane County 3 Box Score W: Bailey Ober (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff 2 (13) Multi-hit games: Kirilloff, Robby Rinn, Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, David Banuelos Take a bow, Alex Kirilloff. This was his first four-hit game of the season and second multi-homer effort. He’s tearing apart Midwest League pitching, posting a line of .329/.386/.608. It would have been understandable if Alex had gotten off to a slow start after missing all of last season, but he’s been a beast from the get-go. In a season that hasn’t had many positives for Twins fans, this young man represents a brilliant beam of sunshine. There were plenty of other strong performers for Cedar Rapids, as Robby Rinn had three hits, both Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda had two doubles and David Banuelos reached safely three times. The Kernels were actually trailing 1-0 after the first inning, but Bailey Ober ended up getting settled in. He went seven innings, needing only 79 pitches to do so, and gave up two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out seven batters and threw 72.2 percent of his pitches for strikes. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Bailey Ober, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis, CR: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, BB 2. Fernando Romero, MIN 3. Nick Gordon, ROC: 0-for-4 4. Stephen Gonsalves, ROC: Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff, CR: 4-for-6, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBIs 6. Wander Javier: Out for the season with a shoulder injury. 7. Brent Rooker, CHAT: 0-for-4, 2 Ks 8. Blayne Enlow, CR: Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol, CR: Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo, CR: 1-for-5, BB 11. Zack Littell, ROC: Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe, CHAT: Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz, FM: 1-for-5, K 14. LaMonte Wade, ROC: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BBs 15. Mitch Garver, MIN 16. Ben Rortvedt, FM: 3-for-4 17. Travis Blankenhorn, FM: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K 18. Yunior Severino: Expected to join E-Town. 19. Tyler Jay, CHAT: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K 20. Felix Jorge: Out with knee injury. FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Buffalo, 6:05 pm CT (Zack Littell) Chattanooga at Birmingham, 7:05 pm CT (Kohl Stewart) Fort Myers OFF Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  17. One year ago, Taylor Grzelakowski was graduating from Madonna University with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Sales. He wasn’t going to get drafted, so he was heading to the Utica Unicorns of the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League, and he was happy about it. Last night, Grzelakowski went 1-2 with two walks and his third home run (off of big leaguer Nathan Eovaldi) for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He’s hitting .322 on the season. It’s been a year of transition, and at least some of that might be due to a five-year transformation. Today get to know a bit more about an intriguing prospect in the Twins system.Taylor Grzelakowski (pronouced jeh-luh-COW-skee) grew up in the community of Fraser, Michigan, a community of about 15,000 people just north of Detroit. He notes, “I take a lot of pride in my hometown of Fraser, Michigan. We are a very small and close-knit community.” Yes, Twins fans, he grew up a fan of the Detroit Tigers. “Bobby Higginson and Miguel Cabrera were some of my favorite players to watch.” He was very busy throughout his high school years. Along with baseball, Grzelakowski participated in football, basketball and was on the swim team. “I was also a part of Student Council, Health Occupation Students of America and helped run our school blood drives.” But baseball was his favorite sport, the sport that provided him an opportunity to continue playing in college. “My senior year summer baseball coach, Matt Sandals, sent out my recruiting videos to different schools. I had a few opportunities present themselves, and I decided to play at Madonna University. The coaches played a huge role in my decision to attend Madonna. The campus was also only 45 minutes away from my hometown. It was a perfect balance of being away but still close to home.” On the field, Grzelakowski had a lot of great experiences. His teams “won two conference championships, won a conference tournament and appeared in the NAIA regionals four times.” He was also named the WHAC Player of the Year as a senior when he hit .426/.538/.756 (1.294) with 16 doubles and 12 homers in 49 games. Madonna University is a small, private college with around 3,500 students. It is an NAIA school. It is not known as a baseball hotbed, but it does have a good history. “The catching coach, Mike George, started the program and is still with the team.” Grzelakowski enjoyed his time at the college. “The experiences I had at Madonna University were some of the best of my baseball career. I made many lifelong friends throughout the years of playing there.” But despite consistently putting up big numbers in college, Grzelakowski was never even drafted. Even more, he points out, “I never spoke to any scouts.” But knowing he wasn’t likely to get drafted may have been a blessing in disguise for Grzelakowski. “I was already playing in the USPBL at the time of the draft because I never heard from any affiliate scouts. Jim Essian, the Utica Unicorns manager, watched me play at Madonna. He offered me a position on his team, which meant everything to me.” He may have only played in 29 games for the Unicorns, but he refuses to overlook just how valuable that experience was for him. “If it weren’t for the USPBL, my career would be over. They took a chance on me and changed my position from first base and outfield to catcher.” The Twins signed three players out of the USPBL last July. Along with Grzelakowski, they also signed pitchers Kevin Marnon and Randy Dobnak. Grzelakowski went to the Gulf Coast League where he played in a dozen games. There he learned about the heat and humidity of southwest Florida in the summer, adjustments to pro ball and more. “My experience in the GCL last year was short but a grind. Florida is very hot in August and understanding that there are many people fighting for the same goal. The biggest adjustments for me have been the speed of the game, the fact that we play basically every day for six months straight and being 20 hours away from home. The amount of resources we have to help us become better players is incredible.” He went into his first offseason with a few goals for improvement. “My main focus during the offseason was to get my body right and try to meet the weight goals I was given. I also worked to on improving every aspect of catching that I could.” But weight loss has been an ongoing goal for Grzelakowski for years now. It’s something that he’s worked very hard at and achieved some impressive goals. “My weight loss started my redshirt freshman year of college. I have lost a total of 60 pounds since then. I have worked with two nutritionists, the Twins nutritionist Kate Moran and my college nutritionist Maureen Stoecklein. Both have worked countless hours with me to master my diet plans during the offseason. I also worked with the trainers at Detroit Mercy, Nick Wilson, Trevor Klump and Allen Son." This spring, Grzelakowski went to his first spring training in pro ball. “I was excited to get down here for spring training. I live in Michigan and the winters are brutal. I had to do all of my lifting, catching and hitting indoors. To be back outside in the warm weather was something I was very happy about. I felt that my spring training went very well. The amount I learned from Tanner Swanson about catching in a month definitely made an impact on my game. I felt that I was hitting the ball pretty well and taking my walks. I was unsure of where I was going to be placed, and was beyond thrilled when I saw my name on the Miracle roster.” NAIA. Non-drafted. Independent ball. Sign with the Twins. Play 12 games for the GCL Twins. With all that, he skipped Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids and jumped directly to Ft. Myers, and he is more than holding his own with the Miracle. Through 17 games, he’s hitting .322/.412/.576 (.988) with six doubles and three home runs. “My first month has been awesome. I really enjoy the group of guys we have in the clubhouse. I have learned that I need to slow my game down and stop trying to force results.” He believes that his greatest strength can also be his area of growth potential. “My biggest strength as a player in being a left-handed hitting catcher. I also think that being new to the position leaves me a lot of room to learn and grow.” Grzelakowski also is quick to give credit where credit is due and thanks those that have helped him get to this point in his career. “I’ve had many coaches along the way. Dave Kuppe, Dave Gulock, Joe Loria, Matt Sandals, Al Winters, Greg Haeger, Mike George, Cedrick Landrum, Ray Ortega, Justin Orenduff and my two baseball mentors Jim Essian and Ted Faulkner. My family, friends and fiancé have also been a critical part of my success.” Away from the game, Grzelakowski keeps busy. “I enjoy playing video games, following other sports and spending time with friends, family and my fiance Sarah." And maybe most important, Taylor Grzelakowski has great taste in baseball movies. “I love The Rookie, Hardball, and The Benchwarmers.” Click here to view the article
  18. Taylor Grzelakowski (pronouced jeh-luh-COW-skee) grew up in the community of Fraser, Michigan, a community of about 15,000 people just north of Detroit. He notes, “I take a lot of pride in my hometown of Fraser, Michigan. We are a very small and close-knit community.” Yes, Twins fans, he grew up a fan of the Detroit Tigers. “Bobby Higginson and Miguel Cabrera were some of my favorite players to watch.” He was very busy throughout his high school years. Along with baseball, Grzelakowski participated in football, basketball and was on the swim team. “I was also a part of Student Council, Health Occupation Students of America and helped run our school blood drives.” But baseball was his favorite sport, the sport that provided him an opportunity to continue playing in college. “My senior year summer baseball coach, Matt Sandals, sent out my recruiting videos to different schools. I had a few opportunities present themselves, and I decided to play at Madonna University. The coaches played a huge role in my decision to attend Madonna. The campus was also only 45 minutes away from my hometown. It was a perfect balance of being away but still close to home.” On the field, Grzelakowski had a lot of great experiences. His teams “won two conference championships, won a conference tournament and appeared in the NAIA regionals four times.” He was also named the WHAC Player of the Year as a senior when he hit .426/.538/.756 (1.294) with 16 doubles and 12 homers in 49 games. Madonna University is a small, private college with around 3,500 students. It is an NAIA school. It is not known as a baseball hotbed, but it does have a good history. “The catching coach, Mike George, started the program and is still with the team.” Grzelakowski enjoyed his time at the college. “The experiences I had at Madonna University were some of the best of my baseball career. I made many lifelong friends throughout the years of playing there.” But despite consistently putting up big numbers in college, Grzelakowski was never even drafted. Even more, he points out, “I never spoke to any scouts.” But knowing he wasn’t likely to get drafted may have been a blessing in disguise for Grzelakowski. “I was already playing in the USPBL at the time of the draft because I never heard from any affiliate scouts. Jim Essian, the Utica Unicorns manager, watched me play at Madonna. He offered me a position on his team, which meant everything to me.” He may have only played in 29 games for the Unicorns, but he refuses to overlook just how valuable that experience was for him. “If it weren’t for the USPBL, my career would be over. They took a chance on me and changed my position from first base and outfield to catcher.” The Twins signed three players out of the USPBL last July. Along with Grzelakowski, they also signed pitchers Kevin Marnon and Randy Dobnak. Grzelakowski went to the Gulf Coast League where he played in a dozen games. There he learned about the heat and humidity of southwest Florida in the summer, adjustments to pro ball and more. “My experience in the GCL last year was short but a grind. Florida is very hot in August and understanding that there are many people fighting for the same goal. The biggest adjustments for me have been the speed of the game, the fact that we play basically every day for six months straight and being 20 hours away from home. The amount of resources we have to help us become better players is incredible.” He went into his first offseason with a few goals for improvement. “My main focus during the offseason was to get my body right and try to meet the weight goals I was given. I also worked to on improving every aspect of catching that I could.” But weight loss has been an ongoing goal for Grzelakowski for years now. It’s something that he’s worked very hard at and achieved some impressive goals. “My weight loss started my redshirt freshman year of college. I have lost a total of 60 pounds since then. I have worked with two nutritionists, the Twins nutritionist Kate Moran and my college nutritionist Maureen Stoecklein. Both have worked countless hours with me to master my diet plans during the offseason. I also worked with the trainers at Detroit Mercy, Nick Wilson, Trevor Klump and Allen Son." This spring, Grzelakowski went to his first spring training in pro ball. “I was excited to get down here for spring training. I live in Michigan and the winters are brutal. I had to do all of my lifting, catching and hitting indoors. To be back outside in the warm weather was something I was very happy about. I felt that my spring training went very well. The amount I learned from Tanner Swanson about catching in a month definitely made an impact on my game. I felt that I was hitting the ball pretty well and taking my walks. I was unsure of where I was going to be placed, and was beyond thrilled when I saw my name on the Miracle roster.” NAIA. Non-drafted. Independent ball. Sign with the Twins. Play 12 games for the GCL Twins. With all that, he skipped Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids and jumped directly to Ft. Myers, and he is more than holding his own with the Miracle. Through 17 games, he’s hitting .322/.412/.576 (.988) with six doubles and three home runs. “My first month has been awesome. I really enjoy the group of guys we have in the clubhouse. I have learned that I need to slow my game down and stop trying to force results.” He believes that his greatest strength can also be his area of growth potential. “My biggest strength as a player in being a left-handed hitting catcher. I also think that being new to the position leaves me a lot of room to learn and grow.” Grzelakowski also is quick to give credit where credit is due and thanks those that have helped him get to this point in his career. “I’ve had many coaches along the way. Dave Kuppe, Dave Gulock, Joe Loria, Matt Sandals, Al Winters, Greg Haeger, Mike George, Cedrick Landrum, Ray Ortega, Justin Orenduff and my two baseball mentors Jim Essian and Ted Faulkner. My family, friends and fiancé have also been a critical part of my success.” Away from the game, Grzelakowski keeps busy. “I enjoy playing video games, following other sports and spending time with friends, family and my fiance Sarah." And maybe most important, Taylor Grzelakowski has great taste in baseball movies. “I love The Rookie, Hardball, and The Benchwarmers.”
  19. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 1 Box Score Rochester pounced quickly on Lehigh Valley and Stephen Gonsalves was able to cruise to his second straight victory since being promoted to Triple A. The Red Wings got things started in the first with two outs. Jake Cave got a single. Kennys Vargas singled to center to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch brought in Cave from third. Willians Astudillo singled to load the bases. The biggest hit of the frame came from Taylor Featherston who doubled to plate three runs. He finished the day 1-for-3 with three RBI, a walk and a run scored. Cave was the lone Red Wings hitter to collect multiple hits, both singles. Leonardo Reginatto was the only batter not to reach base but he added two RBI. Gonsalves faced the minimum through the first 14 batters. After surrendering a solo home run and a double in the fifth, he settled in to pitch into the top of the seventh. After walking the lead-off batter in that inning, he got Trevor Plouffe to fly out and he struck out the next batter. Mitch Walding, the same batter who homered earlier, singled to put a runner in scoring position. This was the end of Gonsalves’ day. He struck out nine, walked one, and allowed three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Nick Anderson pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the Red Wings. He allowed only one base runner and he struck out two. Over his last five appearances, Anderson hasn’t allowed an earned run and has pitched multiple innings in four of those outings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Mobile 2 Box Score The hits were few and far between for the Lookouts on Sunday afternoon. Nick Gordon and Alex Robles each went 1-for-3 and those were the only hits for the club. Overall, the team had two opportunities to bat with runners in scoring position and one of them was successful. Chattanooga seemed to be getting a rally going in the ninth. Alex Perez led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. Robles followed with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. The next batter was LaMonte Wade and he was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brent Rooker got ahead in the count 2-1 before fouling off a pitch. He struck out on the next pitch for the first out of the inning and that’s when things got a little strange. Nick Gordon stepped in with a chance to play the hero. He cracked a long fly ball to left field that was deep enough to be a sacrifice fly. However, Robles got caught trying to advance and became the final out of the game. Anthony Marzi had a strong start in his Double A debut. Over six innings, he scattered four hits and allowed one earned run, a home run. He struck out eight and walked one. Ryan Eades finished off the final two frames by allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Jupiter 4 Box Score Clark Beeker worked his best start of the season and the Miracle were able to hold off the Hammerheads in this one. Beeker pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Calvin Faucher picked up from Beeker and allowed only one base runner over the next two frames. For the Miracle, every starter in the line-up reached base. Mark Contreras, Joe Cronin, and Taylor Grzelakowski all had multi-hit efforts. Grzelakowski has five multiple-hit efforts in his last ten games. Contreras scored a pair of runs and Arraez led the team with two RBI. Things got a little dicey at the end as Logan Lombana allowed Jupiter back into the game. In the top of the ninth, he allowed a single and a home run to start the inning. After allowing the next batter to reach on a walk, he coaxed a ground out before being replaced by Kevin Marnon. He got one out before back-to-back singles made it a one-run game. Marnon loaded the bases with a walk before a sharp groundout to Carson Crites ended the mayhem. It is the first time Jupiter has lost a series this season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, West Michigan 4 Box Score Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early lead thanks to a little luck. With one out in the second, Andrew Bechtold walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. He was stranded at second until a two-out double from David Banuelos made the score 1-0. Unfortunately, that’s where the scoring ended for the Kernels. Bryan Sammons lost for the third time in his last four starts. However, he has only allowed more than two earned runs in one of those appearances. He finished 6 1/3 innings, a career best, by allowing two earned runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Derek Molina allowed two earned runs over the final 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two and didn’t allow a free pass. Cedar Rapids went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Alex Kirilloff collected his tenth double of the season. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Taylor Grzelakowski (2-for-4, RBI, 2B) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Stephen Gonsalves, Rochester (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 1-3, RBI, K #4 – Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 2B, K #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-3, BB, 2 K #14 – LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 0-3, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-3, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (5:05 CST) - TBD Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:15 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (0-3, 4.37 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (6:00 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (2-0, 6.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  20. For the first time all season, every affiliate was able to play their scheduled Sunday game. Twins Territory is basking in the glow of early summer, which means there should be plenty more baseball games to write about in the days ahead. Sunday saw Stephen Gonsalves make his second Triple A start, while Chattanooga and Fort Myers found themselves in one-run games. Whose performance stood out above the crowd? Read on and then you decide…RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 1 Box Score Rochester pounced quickly on Lehigh Valley and Stephen Gonsalves was able to cruise to his second straight victory since being promoted to Triple A. The Red Wings got things started in the first with two outs. Jake Cave got a single. Kennys Vargas singled to center to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch brought in Cave from third. Willians Astudillo singled to load the bases. The biggest hit of the frame came from Taylor Featherston who doubled to plate three runs. He finished the day 1-for-3 with three RBI, a walk and a run scored. Cave was the lone Red Wings hitter to collect multiple hits, both singles. Leonardo Reginatto was the only batter not to reach base but he added two RBI. Gonsalves faced the minimum through the first 14 batters. After surrendering a solo home run and a double in the fifth, he settled in to pitch into the top of the seventh. After walking the lead-off batter in that inning, he got Trevor Plouffe to fly out and he struck out the next batter. Mitch Walding, the same batter who homered earlier, singled to put a runner in scoring position. This was the end of Gonsalves’ day. He struck out nine, walked one, and allowed three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Nick Anderson pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the Red Wings. He allowed only one base runner and he struck out two. Over his last five appearances, Anderson hasn’t allowed an earned run and has pitched multiple innings in four of those outings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Mobile 2 Box Score The hits were few and far between for the Lookouts on Sunday afternoon. Nick Gordon and Alex Robles each went 1-for-3 and those were the only hits for the club. Overall, the team had two opportunities to bat with runners in scoring position and one of them was successful. Chattanooga seemed to be getting a rally going in the ninth. Alex Perez led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. Robles followed with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. The next batter was LaMonte Wade and he was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brent Rooker got ahead in the count 2-1 before fouling off a pitch. He struck out on the next pitch for the first out of the inning and that’s when things got a little strange. Nick Gordon stepped in with a chance to play the hero. He cracked a long fly ball to left field that was deep enough to be a sacrifice fly. However, Robles got caught trying to advance and became the final out of the game. Anthony Marzi had a strong start in his Double A debut. Over six innings, he scattered four hits and allowed one earned run, a home run. He struck out eight and walked one. Ryan Eades finished off the final two frames by allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Jupiter 4 Box Score Clark Beeker worked his best start of the season and the Miracle were able to hold off the Hammerheads in this one. Beeker pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Calvin Faucher picked up from Beeker and allowed only one base runner over the next two frames. For the Miracle, every starter in the line-up reached base. Mark Contreras, Joe Cronin, and Taylor Grzelakowski all had multi-hit efforts. Grzelakowski has five multiple-hit efforts in his last ten games. Contreras scored a pair of runs and Arraez led the team with two RBI. Things got a little dicey at the end as Logan Lombana allowed Jupiter back into the game. In the top of the ninth, he allowed a single and a home run to start the inning. After allowing the next batter to reach on a walk, he coaxed a ground out before being replaced by Kevin Marnon. He got one out before back-to-back singles made it a one-run game. Marnon loaded the bases with a walk before a sharp groundout to Carson Crites ended the mayhem. It is the first time Jupiter has lost a series this season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, West Michigan 4 Box Score Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early lead thanks to a little luck. With one out in the second, Andrew Bechtold walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. He was stranded at second until a two-out double from David Banuelos made the score 1-0. Unfortunately, that’s where the scoring ended for the Kernels. Bryan Sammons lost for the third time in his last four starts. However, he has only allowed more than two earned runs in one of those appearances. He finished 6 1/3 innings, a career best, by allowing two earned runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Derek Molina allowed two earned runs over the final 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two and didn’t allow a free pass. Cedar Rapids went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Alex Kirilloff collected his tenth double of the season. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Taylor Grzelakowski (2-for-4, RBI, 2B) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Stephen Gonsalves, Rochester (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 1-3, RBI, K #4 – Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 2B, K #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-3, BB, 2 K #14 – LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 0-3, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-3, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (5:05 CST) - TBD Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:15 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (0-3, 4.37 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (6:00 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (2-0, 6.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  21. Weather has gotten in the way of at least one minor league game every Sunday this season. That trend continued this week with the Lookouts being forced to play a doubleheader on Monday. For those team’s that got on the field, there were some entertaining games throughout the system. Who shined on Sunday? Read on to find out…ROSTER MOVES RHP Phil Hughes returned from MLB rehab and activated by Minnesota. OF Byron Buxton transferred to Fort Myers on MLB rehab assignment. LHP Casey Crosby was reinstated from the disabled list for Rochester. LHP Tyler Jay was reinstated from the disabled list for Chattanooga. LHP Andrew Vasquez transferred to Fort Myers from Chattanooga. OF Jaylin Davis placed on the 7-day DL at Fort Myers. RHP Randy Dobnak activated from the 7-day DL at Cedar Rapids. RHP Blayne Enlow placed on the 7-day DL, retroactive to April 21 with a lower back strain. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Columbus 1 Box Score Fernando Romero might have been missing some of his best stuff on Sunday afternoon but that didn’t stop him from putting together a solid effort on the mound. He pitched into the seventh frame (6 2/3 innings) and allowed one run on two hits. Romero struck out 10 and walked two. The lone run scored against Romero came after he allowed a lead-off double in the fourth. A one-out single would bring home the runner. Columbus has a strong line-up and Romero didn’t have his slider working to its full potential. Overall, a pretty strong performance for the team’s top pitching prospect. In relief of Romero, Matt Magill and Ryne Harper combined for over two innings of shutout ball. In fact, the two pitchers were asked to record seven outs in the game and they combined for seven strikeouts. Offensively, Rochester collected twice as many hits as Columbus but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base. The team racked up 12 strikeouts with five batters striking out more than once. Brock Stassi had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double. Leonardo Reginatto reached base twice with a single and a walk. With no big hits, Rochester falls to 5-7 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Jackson -- Box Score Weather got in the way today’s contest between the Lookouts and the Generals. The game will be made-up as part of a doubleheader on Monday, April 23. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 4:00 pm CST. Both games are scheduled to be seven innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Bradenton 4 Box Score After seven innings, Fort Myers looked to be in the driver’s seat. However, two late inning runs would move the Miracle from victory lane to defeat. Clark Beeker started and pitched five innings without allowing an earned run. He scattered three hits and saw one unearned run cross the plate. Beeker struck out two and walked two. Calvin Faucher took over for Beeker and allowed one run in two innings. He struck out three and walked one. After both of these players left the mound, the team still had the lead. Fort Myers got on the scoreboard with a solo home run by Taylor Grzelakowski in the fifth. He wasn’t done with one long ball. In the seventh inning, Jimmy Kerrigan led off the inning with a single. Grzelakowski smashed his second home run of the day. Joe Cronin went 3-for-4 and Nelson Molina added two hits. Byron Buxton made his first rehab start as the number two hitter and designated hitter. He went 0-for-4. Andrew Vasquez came in for the top of the eighth. He allowed a single and then compounded the damage by having a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Following a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded. Grzelakowski allowed a passed ball and the tying run scored. In the ninth, Vasquez allowed a single, a wild pitch, and walk-off single. It was a rough couple of frames for Mr. Vasquez. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 0 Box Score Three Kernels pitchers combined to shutout Kane County. Randy Dobnak picked up his first win of the season after tossing 5.2 scoreless frames. He scattered six hits while striking out four and walking two. Carlos Suniaga pitched 2 1/3 innings and only allowed two hits. He hasn’t allowed a run in three appearances with Cedar Rapids. Kevin Marnon struck out two in the final frame. A big fourth inning was all the Kernels needed to come out on top in this one. Andrew Bechtold reached base on a throwing error and moved to second. With one out, David Banuelos singled to drive in Bechtold. Mark Contreras followed with a double before back-to-back singles from Ben Rodriguez and Jordan Gore. Akil Baddoo walked to load the bases and Jose Miranda capped the four-run inning with a sacrifice fly. Miranda finished with a home run and four RBI. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Fernando Romero, Rochester (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 – Fernando Romero (Rochester) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 10 K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, BB, K #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, 2 BB, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Gwinnett (4:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (0-2, 10.29 ERA) Rochester vs. Gwinnett (Make-Up of 4/15)- RHP D.J. Baxendale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (4:00 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (Make-Up of 4/22)- LHP Stephen Gonsalves (2-0, 1.76 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST)- RHP Sean Poppen (0-1, 4.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington (6:35 CST)- LHP Bryan Sammons (0-1, 0.96 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  22. ROSTER MOVES RHP Phil Hughes returned from MLB rehab and activated by Minnesota. OF Byron Buxton transferred to Fort Myers on MLB rehab assignment. LHP Casey Crosby was reinstated from the disabled list for Rochester. LHP Tyler Jay was reinstated from the disabled list for Chattanooga. LHP Andrew Vasquez transferred to Fort Myers from Chattanooga. OF Jaylin Davis placed on the 7-day DL at Fort Myers. RHP Randy Dobnak activated from the 7-day DL at Cedar Rapids. RHP Blayne Enlow placed on the 7-day DL, retroactive to April 21 with a lower back strain. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Columbus 1 Box Score Fernando Romero might have been missing some of his best stuff on Sunday afternoon but that didn’t stop him from putting together a solid effort on the mound. He pitched into the seventh frame (6 2/3 innings) and allowed one run on two hits. Romero struck out 10 and walked two. The lone run scored against Romero came after he allowed a lead-off double in the fourth. A one-out single would bring home the runner. Columbus has a strong line-up and Romero didn’t have his slider working to its full potential. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/988126466058719232 Overall, a pretty strong performance for the team’s top pitching prospect. In relief of Romero, Matt Magill and Ryne Harper combined for over two innings of shutout ball. In fact, the two pitchers were asked to record seven outs in the game and they combined for seven strikeouts. Offensively, Rochester collected twice as many hits as Columbus but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base. The team racked up 12 strikeouts with five batters striking out more than once. Brock Stassi had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double. Leonardo Reginatto reached base twice with a single and a walk. With no big hits, Rochester falls to 5-7 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Jackson -- Box Score Weather got in the way today’s contest between the Lookouts and the Generals. The game will be made-up as part of a doubleheader on Monday, April 23. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 4:00 pm CST. Both games are scheduled to be seven innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Bradenton 4 Box Score After seven innings, Fort Myers looked to be in the driver’s seat. However, two late inning runs would move the Miracle from victory lane to defeat. Clark Beeker started and pitched five innings without allowing an earned run. He scattered three hits and saw one unearned run cross the plate. Beeker struck out two and walked two. Calvin Faucher took over for Beeker and allowed one run in two innings. He struck out three and walked one. After both of these players left the mound, the team still had the lead. Fort Myers got on the scoreboard with a solo home run by Taylor Grzelakowski in the fifth. He wasn’t done with one long ball. In the seventh inning, Jimmy Kerrigan led off the inning with a single. Grzelakowski smashed his second home run of the day. Joe Cronin went 3-for-4 and Nelson Molina added two hits. Byron Buxton made his first rehab start as the number two hitter and designated hitter. He went 0-for-4. Andrew Vasquez came in for the top of the eighth. He allowed a single and then compounded the damage by having a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Following a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded. Grzelakowski allowed a passed ball and the tying run scored. In the ninth, Vasquez allowed a single, a wild pitch, and walk-off single. It was a rough couple of frames for Mr. Vasquez. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 0 Box Score Three Kernels pitchers combined to shutout Kane County. Randy Dobnak picked up his first win of the season after tossing 5.2 scoreless frames. He scattered six hits while striking out four and walking two. Carlos Suniaga pitched 2 1/3 innings and only allowed two hits. He hasn’t allowed a run in three appearances with Cedar Rapids. Kevin Marnon struck out two in the final frame. A big fourth inning was all the Kernels needed to come out on top in this one. Andrew Bechtold reached base on a throwing error and moved to second. With one out, David Banuelos singled to drive in Bechtold. Mark Contreras followed with a double before back-to-back singles from Ben Rodriguez and Jordan Gore. Akil Baddoo walked to load the bases and Jose Miranda capped the four-run inning with a sacrifice fly. Miranda finished with a home run and four RBI. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Fernando Romero, Rochester (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 – Fernando Romero (Rochester) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 10 K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, BB, K #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, 2 BB, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Gwinnett (4:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (0-2, 10.29 ERA) Rochester vs. Gwinnett (Make-Up of 4/15)- RHP D.J. Baxendale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (4:00 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (Make-Up of 4/22)- LHP Stephen Gonsalves (2-0, 1.76 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST)- RHP Sean Poppen (0-1, 4.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington (6:35 CST)- LHP Bryan Sammons (0-1, 0.96 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  23. I spent eight full days in Ft. Myers, and for at least some of each day, I spent time down on the minor league side of things. When there was a big league game, I would maybe only spend a couple of hours watching practice. When the big league team was on the road, I would spend as much as seven hours watching practices and games. There is a lot of talent in the Twins minor league system. Today I wanted to highlight a handful of players who caught my eye, specifically with guys who are not often found on prospect sheets.I don’t know if you want to call them sleepers or just guys that stood out to one observer, me, but there were several players that I didn’t necessarily rank real high on Twins prospect lists. This isn’t an article to say that suddenly these guys will jump into my Top 10 or even my Top 30. But every year there are a couple of players that do good enough work throughout the time I’m there (admittedly a small sample) to get noticed. At the same time, Royce Lewis is a standout. Brent Rooker's approach and swing at the plate are eye-popping. Akil Baddoo is impressive at the plate, on the bases and in the field. Alex Kirilloff’s swing is so smooth. Blayne Enlow appears to be as advertised. Brusdar Graterol throws gas and looks the part of a starter. Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves look close to big-league ready. We already know that. That’s why those guys are top ten types of prospects. Today I want to highlight some guys that maybe you haven’t heard a lot about. Maybe some of them will end up being Top 20 guys by season’s end. Maybe some of them won’t be with the organization in September. I don’t know. But it’s fun to observe, and in some ways, play amateur scout. While I was in Ft. Myers, I watch a lot. I love watching bullpens. I love watching infielders take group balls. I love pop up drills. I love watching guys take game at bats against live pitching because that is often different than batting practice swinging, which is also fun to watch. In my time down there, I had the chance to briefly talk to Mike Radcliff, and I met Deron Johnson for the first time. I only wish I had their abilities to scout and evaluate players not only for what they are today, but what they might be in three years, or five years. Scouting is a tough job. And maybe this little exercise will highlight that. So let’s get to it. Here are five guys (non-Top 20 types) who stood out in my mind having watched them over the course of my eight days in Ft. Myers. Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez was the Twins 38th-round pick last June out of Pepperdine where he had played for four years. Drafted as a catcher, Rodriguez stands 6-6 and about 230 pounds. After being drafted, he played 50 games in the GCL where he hit .290/.399/. 457 (.856) with 17 extra base hits. While I did see him working on a few drills with the catchers, Rodriguez spent the majority of his time at first base. What is noteworthy is that he spent most of spring training with the Ft. Myers group that is starting the season in Cedar Rapids. He essentially passed by the likes of Kolton Kendrick and JJ Robinson who played first base at Elizabethton last season. He’s had some swing-and-miss in his game, but as you would guess from his size, he has a ton of power and power potential. We’ll see if it comes to fruition, but in my mind, that was a great late-round pick. Rodriguez is very athletic, strong and has potential that makes him intriguing. Andrew Vasquez Vasquez is kind of a late bloomer on this list. The left-hander was the Twins 32nd- round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College in California. He’s been moved fairly slowly, but he ended 2017 strong. After starting in Cedar Rapids, he moved up to Ft. Myers. Combined, he posted a 1.55 ERA and struck out 85 batters in 58 innings of work. He ended the season with an invitation to the Arizona Fall League where he struck out 14 batters in 12.2 innings (1.42 ERA). I first noticed him in the spring of 2017 when I watched him throw a bullpen. Actually, I heard him throw a bullpen. Just warming up, the ball could be heard as it went by. While his velocity wasn’t too high, it was a heavy fastball. This year, I watched him pitch in a couple of spring games. As I was taking in pitches from the side, and seeing hitters’ knees buckle, I decided to go stand behind home plate and watch. I’d obviously heard about the slider of Vasquez, but to see it is something else. After watching a couple, I looked at Twins assistant minor league pitching coordinator JP Martinez and he just shook his head at me and said, “I wish I could take credit for that.” We watched a couple more of his sliders dart into the strike zone, and it made his fastball appear even faster than its low-90s velocity was. He’s a two-pitch pitcher, and both pitches are really good. Tanner English 2017 was a forgettable year for Tanner English. He began the season by spending about a month in Chattanooga, but he just couldn’t get his bat going. He moved back to Ft. Myers and continued to struggle with the bat. He will begin 2018 with the Lookouts again, looking to take his career to the next level. You may recall the big league spring training game that English played hero in just over a week ago. He entered the game in the 8th inning as a pinch runner and then hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game. While he’s not a big guy, English has good tools. The first one you notice is his speed. He’s a good base runner and base stealer. He really shines in center field. English can cover a lot of ground, and he possesses a very strong arm. While he hasn’t hit for average, English puts together really good at-bats. He knows the strike zone and he understands the value of getting on base. And again, despite the lack of size, English has a bit of pop in his bat. The spring training big league home run landed near the top of the berm in left center field at Hammond Stadium. 2018 is a big year for him, and a solid offensive year, with his defense, could make him a candidate for a fourth or fifth outfielder job. Taylor Grzelakowski Grzelakowski went undrafted last year after his four years at Madonna University in Michigan. After the draft, “Gelly” was set to play in the United Shores Professional Baseball League, but after playing in 29 games, the Twins signed him. He went to the GCL where he played in 12 games. He spent this offseason continuing to work on his body. He noted that he lost 20 pounds since the end of last season, and he has now lost 62 pounds since entering college. All that is a nice back story, but Grzelakowski was impressive this spring. Though he played in the GCL last year, he has made the Ft. Myers Opening Day roster because he had such a strong camp. He’s got a smooth, but strong, left-handed swing. He knows the strike zone. Defensively, he’s got work to do behind the plate, but his improved physique has made him much more agile on balls in the dirt. His footwork has improved a lot. And, he’s always had a strong arm. With Mitchell Kranson and Caleb Hamilton also in Ft. Myers, it will be interesting to see how playing time is allocated. Kranson and Hamilton both have the ability to play multiple positions. Landon Leach Leach was ranked in the 20s among Twins prospects by most ranking sources. That was probably too low if only based on him being a second-round pick. Leach will begin the season in extended spring training, but he does have a lot of potential. People are excited about the Twins 2017 draft, but generally the focus is turned to Royce Lewis, Brent Rooker and Blayne Enlow. Leach isn’t talked about as often. However, after seeing him work in the bullpen and in games, I’m convinced he will be very good too. Drafted out of high school in Canada, the term “helium” was appropriate as the draft approached. He may be a bit more raw than some, in part due to cooler climate, but he also has only been pitching for a couple of years after being a catcher before that. Leach is a big, tall kid with a strong frame. He was clocked at 96 in a game, but he sat 94. He’ll have to continue to work to improve his secondary pitches, but he’s got a huge arm and will continue to grow. Like Brusdar Graterol, Leach could be a guy who gets to Cedar Rapids before the short season leagues start. Just a few more… Shortstop depth is good. Even after trading Jermaine Palacios, the Twins have Nick Gordon, Royce Lewis and Wander Javier at the position. And Sean Miller was named the Twins organization’s best minor league infielder for 2017. At Extended Spring Training, the Twins will have 2017 draft pick Ricky De La Torre and international signings Victor Tademo and Yunior Severino. All three were impressive with the glove and the bat.Centerfield defense is also an important trait, it seems, throughout the Twins system. Byron Buxton. Zack Granite. Tanner English. Aaron Whitefield. Akil Baddoo. Having watched 2017 draft pick TJ Dixon man centre field, they may have another. And Jacob Pearson can also play center field, though he played mostly right field.While watching the Astros/Orioles game last night, the announcer pointed out that Carlos Correa was clocked at 97 mph from the hole at shortstop to first base. That’s pretty impressive. Twins fifth-round pick in 2017, Andrew Bechtold, told me that before he came to spring training, he was clocked at 101 mph on a throw across the infield. While he has a good approach at the plate and some power potential, his defense is a big positive in his game.Along with all of the new coordinators and other positions in the minor leagues, the Twins have also added a fourth coach at each of the minor league levels. In the past, each affiliate would have a manager, a hitting coach and a pitching coach. One more coach can only be a positive.A little over a week ago in a minor league spring training game, Felix Jorge took a laser liner to the knee. While it is not believed to be serious, it is the reason he’s starting the season on the Disabled List.While the Twins added minor leaguer pitcher Adam Bray and first baseman Robbie Rinn in trades, the Twins also traded catcher Rainis Silva to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for cash.Losing weight was an important offseason activity for several Twins minor leaguers besides Taylor Grzelakowski. RHP Tyler Wells lost nearly 30 pounds over the winter. After losing about 25 pounds last offseason, catcher Mitchell Kranson said he lost about 10 more this offseason. And outfielder Shane Carrier, who had a fantastic second half in 2017, lost about 20 pounds as well. And he did so without losing any power as he launched a couple of the longest home runs I've seen.Roster Previews Kernels Class of 2018 “Should Be Pretty Entertaining” - Steve Buhr Ft. Myers Miracle Preview - Tuesday Night Chattanooga Lookouts Preview - Wednesday Night Rochester Red Wings Preview - Thursday Night Click here to view the article
  24. I don’t know if you want to call them sleepers or just guys that stood out to one observer, me, but there were several players that I didn’t necessarily rank real high on Twins prospect lists. This isn’t an article to say that suddenly these guys will jump into my Top 10 or even my Top 30. But every year there are a couple of players that do good enough work throughout the time I’m there (admittedly a small sample) to get noticed. At the same time, Royce Lewis is a standout. Brent Rooker's approach and swing at the plate are eye-popping. Akil Baddoo is impressive at the plate, on the bases and in the field. Alex Kirilloff’s swing is so smooth. Blayne Enlow appears to be as advertised. Brusdar Graterol throws gas and looks the part of a starter. Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves look close to big-league ready. We already know that. That’s why those guys are top ten types of prospects. Today I want to highlight some guys that maybe you haven’t heard a lot about. Maybe some of them will end up being Top 20 guys by season’s end. Maybe some of them won’t be with the organization in September. I don’t know. But it’s fun to observe, and in some ways, play amateur scout. While I was in Ft. Myers, I watch a lot. I love watching bullpens. I love watching infielders take group balls. I love pop up drills. I love watching guys take game at bats against live pitching because that is often different than batting practice swinging, which is also fun to watch. In my time down there, I had the chance to briefly talk to Mike Radcliff, and I met Deron Johnson for the first time. I only wish I had their abilities to scout and evaluate players not only for what they are today, but what they might be in three years, or five years. Scouting is a tough job. And maybe this little exercise will highlight that. So let’s get to it. Here are five guys (non-Top 20 types) who stood out in my mind having watched them over the course of my eight days in Ft. Myers. Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez was the Twins 38th-round pick last June out of Pepperdine where he had played for four years. Drafted as a catcher, Rodriguez stands 6-6 and about 230 pounds. After being drafted, he played 50 games in the GCL where he hit .290/.399/. 457 (.856) with 17 extra base hits. While I did see him working on a few drills with the catchers, Rodriguez spent the majority of his time at first base. What is noteworthy is that he spent most of spring training with the Ft. Myers group that is starting the season in Cedar Rapids. He essentially passed by the likes of Kolton Kendrick and JJ Robinson who played first base at Elizabethton last season. He’s had some swing-and-miss in his game, but as you would guess from his size, he has a ton of power and power potential. We’ll see if it comes to fruition, but in my mind, that was a great late-round pick. Rodriguez is very athletic, strong and has potential that makes him intriguing. Andrew Vasquez Vasquez is kind of a late bloomer on this list. The left-hander was the Twins 32nd- round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College in California. He’s been moved fairly slowly, but he ended 2017 strong. After starting in Cedar Rapids, he moved up to Ft. Myers. Combined, he posted a 1.55 ERA and struck out 85 batters in 58 innings of work. He ended the season with an invitation to the Arizona Fall League where he struck out 14 batters in 12.2 innings (1.42 ERA). I first noticed him in the spring of 2017 when I watched him throw a bullpen. Actually, I heard him throw a bullpen. Just warming up, the ball could be heard as it went by. While his velocity wasn’t too high, it was a heavy fastball. This year, I watched him pitch in a couple of spring games. As I was taking in pitches from the side, and seeing hitters’ knees buckle, I decided to go stand behind home plate and watch. I’d obviously heard about the slider of Vasquez, but to see it is something else. After watching a couple, I looked at Twins assistant minor league pitching coordinator JP Martinez and he just shook his head at me and said, “I wish I could take credit for that.” We watched a couple more of his sliders dart into the strike zone, and it made his fastball appear even faster than its low-90s velocity was. He’s a two-pitch pitcher, and both pitches are really good. Tanner English 2017 was a forgettable year for Tanner English. He began the season by spending about a month in Chattanooga, but he just couldn’t get his bat going. He moved back to Ft. Myers and continued to struggle with the bat. He will begin 2018 with the Lookouts again, looking to take his career to the next level. You may recall the big league spring training game that English played hero in just over a week ago. He entered the game in the 8th inning as a pinch runner and then hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game. While he’s not a big guy, English has good tools. The first one you notice is his speed. He’s a good base runner and base stealer. He really shines in center field. English can cover a lot of ground, and he possesses a very strong arm. While he hasn’t hit for average, English puts together really good at-bats. He knows the strike zone and he understands the value of getting on base. And again, despite the lack of size, English has a bit of pop in his bat. The spring training big league home run landed near the top of the berm in left center field at Hammond Stadium. 2018 is a big year for him, and a solid offensive year, with his defense, could make him a candidate for a fourth or fifth outfielder job. Taylor Grzelakowski Grzelakowski went undrafted last year after his four years at Madonna University in Michigan. After the draft, “Gelly” was set to play in the United Shores Professional Baseball League, but after playing in 29 games, the Twins signed him. He went to the GCL where he played in 12 games. He spent this offseason continuing to work on his body. He noted that he lost 20 pounds since the end of last season, and he has now lost 62 pounds since entering college. All that is a nice back story, but Grzelakowski was impressive this spring. Though he played in the GCL last year, he has made the Ft. Myers Opening Day roster because he had such a strong camp. He’s got a smooth, but strong, left-handed swing. He knows the strike zone. Defensively, he’s got work to do behind the plate, but his improved physique has made him much more agile on balls in the dirt. His footwork has improved a lot. And, he’s always had a strong arm. With Mitchell Kranson and Caleb Hamilton also in Ft. Myers, it will be interesting to see how playing time is allocated. Kranson and Hamilton both have the ability to play multiple positions. Landon Leach Leach was ranked in the 20s among Twins prospects by most ranking sources. That was probably too low if only based on him being a second-round pick. Leach will begin the season in extended spring training, but he does have a lot of potential. People are excited about the Twins 2017 draft, but generally the focus is turned to Royce Lewis, Brent Rooker and Blayne Enlow. Leach isn’t talked about as often. However, after seeing him work in the bullpen and in games, I’m convinced he will be very good too. Drafted out of high school in Canada, the term “helium” was appropriate as the draft approached. He may be a bit more raw than some, in part due to cooler climate, but he also has only been pitching for a couple of years after being a catcher before that. Leach is a big, tall kid with a strong frame. He was clocked at 96 in a game, but he sat 94. He’ll have to continue to work to improve his secondary pitches, but he’s got a huge arm and will continue to grow. Like Brusdar Graterol, Leach could be a guy who gets to Cedar Rapids before the short season leagues start. Just a few more… Shortstop depth is good. Even after trading Jermaine Palacios, the Twins have Nick Gordon, Royce Lewis and Wander Javier at the position. And Sean Miller was named the Twins organization’s best minor league infielder for 2017. At Extended Spring Training, the Twins will have 2017 draft pick Ricky De La Torre and international signings Victor Tademo and Yunior Severino. All three were impressive with the glove and the bat. Centerfield defense is also an important trait, it seems, throughout the Twins system. Byron Buxton. Zack Granite. Tanner English. Aaron Whitefield. Akil Baddoo. Having watched 2017 draft pick TJ Dixon man centre field, they may have another. And Jacob Pearson can also play center field, though he played mostly right field. While watching the Astros/Orioles game last night, the announcer pointed out that Carlos Correa was clocked at 97 mph from the hole at shortstop to first base. That’s pretty impressive. Twins fifth-round pick in 2017, Andrew Bechtold, told me that before he came to spring training, he was clocked at 101 mph on a throw across the infield. While he has a good approach at the plate and some power potential, his defense is a big positive in his game. Along with all of the new coordinators and other positions in the minor leagues, the Twins have also added a fourth coach at each of the minor league levels. In the past, each affiliate would have a manager, a hitting coach and a pitching coach. One more coach can only be a positive. A little over a week ago in a minor league spring training game, Felix Jorge took a laser liner to the knee. While it is not believed to be serious, it is the reason he’s starting the season on the Disabled List. While the Twins added minor leaguer pitcher Adam Bray and first baseman Robbie Rinn in trades, the Twins also traded catcher Rainis Silva to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for cash. Losing weight was an important offseason activity for several Twins minor leaguers besides Taylor Grzelakowski. RHP Tyler Wells lost nearly 30 pounds over the winter. After losing about 25 pounds last offseason, catcher Mitchell Kranson said he lost about 10 more this offseason. And outfielder Shane Carrier, who had a fantastic second half in 2017, lost about 20 pounds as well. And he did so without losing any power as he launched a couple of the longest home runs I've seen. Roster Previews Kernels Class of 2018 “Should Be Pretty Entertaining” - Steve Buhr Ft. Myers Miracle Preview - Tuesday Night Chattanooga Lookouts Preview - Wednesday Night Rochester Red Wings Preview - Thursday Night
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