Jump to content
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'tom hackimer'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Blog
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Spying Some Stats
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • blogs_blog_2943
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • blogs_blog_2952
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • East Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Product Groups

  • Twins Apparel
  • Vikings Apparel
  • Wild Apparel
  • Wolves Apparel
  • eBooks
  • Events
  • Supporter Levels

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. I wrote a few days ago on starting pitchers that we are likely to see in the dog days of summer. This of course assumes that the Twins are going to continue down the horrid path that they've gotten off to in the first 40 games of the season, and expiring deals like Michael Pineda and J.A. Happ are moved. The bullpen also contains two names who were brought in on one year deals, one throwing very well, and the other getting off to a horrid start. If someone told you that one would be good and one would be bad, you may not be shocked, but the fact that Robles has outperformed Colome is surprising. If the Twins do decide that they are going to sell, those two will certainly be moved. Some other names like Tyler Duffey or Taylor Rogers could also find themselves being traded, but as I'm writing this I don't foresee it happening. Either way, with injuries, taxing bullpen arms, or relievers not performing, there will be plenty of chances for the Twins brass to bring up some young, intriguing arms. RHP Yennier Cano Cano was signed as an older international free agent in 2018 for 750,000 dollars, just before the international period was about to end. The Twins essentially traded OF Zack Granite to the Rangers for Cano, as 750,000 in international money is what the Twins received in compensation. Cano was ranked as the #2 player in the international class, behind OF Victor Victor Mesa. Cano features a unique three-quarters delivery in which he features a fastball sitting in the mid-90's, topping out at 97 MPH. Cano also features a heavy sinker which induces a lot of ground balls, and works a slider and splitter for strikeouts. Cano is currently in AA Wichita, and has gotten off to a torrid start. At the time of this writing, he's worked 6.2 innings with 12 strikeouts, no walks, and no home runs. Cano is likely going to be called up to Saint Paul in the near future, and if things go well, there is no doubt that the 27 year old will be up with the Twins. Due to his age, the ceiling is limited, but Cano could prove to be a useful middle reliever on a team the could badly use one. RHP Dakota Chalmers Chalmers was acquired as a lottery ticket arm in the 2018 trade that sent Fernando Rodney to the Oakland A's, after being a 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft, being signed way over slot at 1.2M. Chalmers battled injury issues early in his career, and received the dreaded Tommy John Surgery in 2018. Due to Chalmers missing much of the 2018 season, the Twins sent Chalmers to the Arizona Fall League in 2019, where things didn't go according to plan. Chalmers made 6 starts, totaling 17.2 IPs, allowing 17 hits and 12 walks. However, Chalmers, who has always had 80 grade stuff, struck out 25 batters. Despite the rough outing in 2019, the Twins added Chalmers to the 40 man roster. Chalmers has continued to work as a starter in 2021 at AA Wichita, but the results still haven't turned around. Chalmers has walked 4 in 8.2 innings, and given up 8 hits, including 4 home runs. Due to Chalmers having 20 or 25 grade control, his chances at starting seem slim to none. Getting Chalmers in the bullpen as an effectively wild pitcher is the best hope for both him and the Twins brass. RHP Tom Hackimer Hackimer is an under the radar pitcher within the Twins organization, not appearing on any top prospect list on any site. However, Hackimer has been a very effective reliever in the minors, largely due to his unique delivery. The Twins righty throws with a submarine type wind-up, which he compares to former Astros reliever Joe Smith. Hackimer doesn't have blow you away type stuff, with a fastball that sits around 90 MPH, topping out at 94 MPH, but due to the spin rate and unique arm angle, it plays faster than it is. He also features a big, sweeping slider that can get right handed hitters out. He is also working on developing a changeup in order to get left handed hitters out more effectively, but it's a work in progress. If Hackimer is ever going to crack the big leagues, at least with the Twins, this is going to be the year he does so. He is not on the 40 man roster as of now, but with the expected trades, the Twins can make a move to get him a look if they feel like he can succeed. Hackimer is currently at AAA Saint Paul, putting up a scoreless 7.1 innings pitched, and 11 strikeouts. During his minor league career, he's thrown 176.1 innings of 2.65 ERA, while striking out 204 batters.
  2. Teams were allowed to invite up to 75 players to spring training this year. 40 of the players were on the roster. Approximately 20 more players were official Non-Roster Invites. But as a means to allow teams to ease their players back into their springs and properly prepare for their seasons, another 14 to 15 players were invited to participate in the depth camp. As spring training started in February, a writer asked manager Rocco Baldelli on Zoom about the depth camp and what they would be doing. The Twins manager said, “The players in depth camp are going to be extremely important to what we do.” He continued, “They will be taking part in a lot of our fundamentals when we need them too. They’re going to be getting their work done by themselves otherwise. But, they’re going to be playing in a lot of games as well. So when these games start, I think we’re going to see our depth camp.” The Twins played 28 spring training games. Aaron Sabato, the team’s first-round draft pick last June, played in 22 of those games. He made a start or two, but in general, he came in during the middle or late innings and played first base and maybe got a plate appearance. Especially early in camp, it’s important to have a lot of pitchers to eat innings in games when the pitchers are all going just an inning or so. I recently chatted with a few of the depth camp pitchers about their experiences. Ryan Mason, a 26-year-old right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and seven saves at Double-A Pensacola in 2019 before his season ended with an arm injury. Healthy, he was thrilled to be invited to big-league spring training. He said, “First and foremost, the experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment getting the opportunity to spend time with the big-league club. The highlight for myself was obviously being able to throw in a couple of games and experience the nerves of pitching again, which was long overdue due to the circumstances of last season.” Mason finished out two innings for the Twins during spring training. He faced two batters and struck one of them out. He even recorded a Win. Matt Canterino is one of the Twins top pitching prospects. The 23-year-old was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings over four games. He gave up only an unearned run on two hits. He walked five batters but struck out seven and certainly showed the stuff, including a 98 mph fastball, that makes him so intriguing. Canterino said, “ I really enjoyed my time on the big league side of things. The highlight for me was definitely just being able to get in some games again against really good competition. I hadn’t faced another squad since the summer of 2019, so seeing a big leaguer with a different uniform on in the batter’s box when I was pitching really got my competitive juices flowing again.” Josh Winder has seen his prospect status skyrocket since hitting 96 and 97 mph at Instructional League last October. The 6-5 right-hander was the Twins seventh round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In 2019, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids during his first full professional season. Winder enjoyed being around the big leaguers and observing. “It was awesome to rub shoulders with the established big league guys and see how they went about their business. The commitment and dedication to their routine/craft was the big thing that stood out to me and motivated me to make some adjustments in my approach to the game.” He also worked in four games including making one start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and struck out five batters. For Tom Hackimer, the team’s fourth round pick in 2016 from St. John’s, he enjoyed doing something that a lot of big league pitchers haven’t been able to do. “The highlight of my spring was managing to strike out Luis Arraez during a live BP one day.” Hackimer knows many of the players on the Twins roster and has been teammates at times with several of them, including Miguel Sano. Hackimer shared a fun story from this spring. “Miguel Sanó has been making fun of how long my arms are since 2018 when he was sent down to the Miracle, then again in 2019 in Fort Myers and Pensacola while he was rehabbing. One day we were doing PFPs, and he made me stop so that he could point out to Nelson Cruz how long my arms are.” Spring Training fun! But the opportunity to observe and learn from the big league veterans and coaching staff is immensely valuable. Mason took advantage of the opportunity. “I tried to connect with as many players as possible and just talk about pretty normal stuff to reaffirm what I already knew, which is big-league players are normal and all-around great people with their own stories. Also, there is not one way to make it. Everyone paved their own path to success.” It might surprise you to read which player Winder and Canterino mentioned when asked about their surreal moment of spring. Winder noted, “Facing Josh Donaldson is Live BP was a surreal moment for me. I’ve watched him on TV for so long it was really weird seeing him up close in the box.” Canterino had a similar experience that turned into an opportunity he will never forget. He said, “One of my coolest experiences with some of the veterans came after I threw a live bullpen to some of the big league hitters. After I finished my outing, I approached Josh Donaldson and asked what he saw when I threw to him. Andrelton Simmons joined the conversation too after a little while. So the three of us ended up talking about hitting approaches and how to attack hitters for about a half hour after that.” David Banuelos, a catcher the Twins acquired in a trade with the Mariners before the 2018 season. He is known as a defense-first catcher, but he considered his first big league spring training (as a Non-Roster Invite) a “great experience,” one he learned a lot from. Banuelos also mentioned the Twins third baseman and former AL MVP.. “Listening to Donaldson talk about hitting was really cool. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.” One of his two spring hits was a long home run on a Donaldsonic swing. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1375611075970875392 Spencer Steer was the Twins third round pick in 2019 from the University of Oregon. He was not on the original spring roster, but when Chris Williams hurt his shoulder in one of the first spring games, Steer was added to the depth group. He said, “The entire experience was incredible. I went from not knowing when I was reporting to minor league camp, to working out alongside big leaguers within a couple of days. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the best of the best up close. I was able to learn a lot by just watching how they went about their work everyday.” In 11 games played, he had two hits in eight at bats including a long, opposite field home run. Starting pitchers Winder and Canterino are now in Ft. Myers, working to prepare and stretch out for their 2021 minor league seasons. Banuelos and Steer will be playing their first spring training games today in Ft. Myers. Relievers Mason and Hackimer are in St. Paul at the Twins alternate site preparing for their seasons and preparing themselves and others to possibly help the big-league club as we await the start of the season. More Minor League Notes Just a couple quick Twins minor league notes: Royce Lewis on Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander This week, Twins shortstop prospect Royce Lewis was on the FOX Sports Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander show. Lewis talked about a number of topics from the roles that guys like Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz have played in his life and development. He talked some about his recovery from ACL surgery. He also talks about wine, and many other topics. It’s a fun interview. Twins Sign More International Free Agents When the international signing period opened on January 15th, the Twins signed several players including top shortstop prospects Danny De Andrade and Fredy LaFlor. In the past weeks, the Twins have signed a few more players including right-handed pitcher Jose Olivares. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote this of Oliveres: “For a while, Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old righthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup.” More Twins minor league coverage to come. Keep checking back.
  3. Spring Training 2021 certainly was different than most years, but one of the interesting parts was the implementation of the depth camp. It gave several additional players an opportunity not only to get into a couple of spring games, but get more time with the big-league coaches and players too. Several Twins prospects discussed their first big-league spring training.Teams were allowed to invite up to 75 players to spring training this year. 40 of the players were on the roster. Approximately 20 more players were official Non-Roster Invites. But as a means to allow teams to ease their players back into their springs and properly prepare for their seasons, another 14 to 15 players were invited to participate in the depth camp. As spring training started in February, a writer asked manager Rocco Baldelli on Zoom about the depth camp and what they would be doing. The Twins manager said, “The players in depth camp are going to be extremely important to what we do.” He continued, “They will be taking part in a lot of our fundamentals when we need them too. They’re going to be getting their work done by themselves otherwise. But, they’re going to be playing in a lot of games as well. So when these games start, I think we’re going to see our depth camp.” The Twins played 28 spring training games. Aaron Sabato, the team’s first-round draft pick last June, played in 22 of those games. He made a start or two, but in general, he came in during the middle or late innings and played first base and maybe got a plate appearance. Especially early in camp, it’s important to have a lot of pitchers to eat innings in games when the pitchers are all going just an inning or so. I recently chatted with a few of the depth camp pitchers about their experiences. Ryan Mason, a 26-year-old right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and seven saves at Double-A Pensacola in 2019 before his season ended with an arm injury. Healthy, he was thrilled to be invited to big-league spring training. He said, “First and foremost, the experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment getting the opportunity to spend time with the big-league club. The highlight for myself was obviously being able to throw in a couple of games and experience the nerves of pitching again, which was long overdue due to the circumstances of last season.” Mason finished out two innings for the Twins during spring training. He faced two batters and struck one of them out. He even recorded a Win. Matt Canterino is one of the Twins top pitching prospects. The 23-year-old was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings over four games. He gave up only an unearned run on two hits. He walked five batters but struck out seven and certainly showed the stuff, including a 98 mph fastball, that makes him so intriguing. Canterino said, “ I really enjoyed my time on the big league side of things. The highlight for me was definitely just being able to get in some games again against really good competition. I hadn’t faced another squad since the summer of 2019, so seeing a big leaguer with a different uniform on in the batter’s box when I was pitching really got my competitive juices flowing again.” Josh Winder has seen his prospect status skyrocket since hitting 96 and 97 mph at Instructional League last October. The 6-5 right-hander was the Twins seventh round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In 2019, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids during his first full professional season. Winder enjoyed being around the big leaguers and observing. “It was awesome to rub shoulders with the established big league guys and see how they went about their business. The commitment and dedication to their routine/craft was the big thing that stood out to me and motivated me to make some adjustments in my approach to the game.” He also worked in four games including making one start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and struck out five batters. For Tom Hackimer, the team’s fourth round pick in 2016 from St. John’s, he enjoyed doing something that a lot of big league pitchers haven’t been able to do. “The highlight of my spring was managing to strike out Luis Arraez during a live BP one day.” Hackimer knows many of the players on the Twins roster and has been teammates at times with several of them, including Miguel Sano. Hackimer shared a fun story from this spring. “Miguel Sanó has been making fun of how long my arms are since 2018 when he was sent down to the Miracle, then again in 2019 in Fort Myers and Pensacola while he was rehabbing. One day we were doing PFPs, and he made me stop so that he could point out to Nelson Cruz how long my arms are.” Spring Training fun! But the opportunity to observe and learn from the big league veterans and coaching staff is immensely valuable. Mason took advantage of the opportunity. “I tried to connect with as many players as possible and just talk about pretty normal stuff to reaffirm what I already knew, which is big-league players are normal and all-around great people with their own stories. Also, there is not one way to make it. Everyone paved their own path to success.” It might surprise you to read which player Winder and Canterino mentioned when asked about their surreal moment of spring. Winder noted, “Facing Josh Donaldson is Live BP was a surreal moment for me. I’ve watched him on TV for so long it was really weird seeing him up close in the box.” Canterino had a similar experience that turned into an opportunity he will never forget. He said, “One of my coolest experiences with some of the veterans came after I threw a live bullpen to some of the big league hitters. After I finished my outing, I approached Josh Donaldson and asked what he saw when I threw to him. Andrelton Simmons joined the conversation too after a little while. So the three of us ended up talking about hitting approaches and how to attack hitters for about a half hour after that.” David Banuelos, a catcher the Twins acquired in a trade with the Mariners before the 2018 season. He is known as a defense-first catcher, but he considered his first big league spring training (as a Non-Roster Invite) a “great experience,” one he learned a lot from. Banuelos also mentioned the Twins third baseman and former AL MVP.. “Listening to Donaldson talk about hitting was really cool. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.” One of his two spring hits was a long home run on a Donaldsonic swing. Spencer Steer was the Twins third round pick in 2019 from the University of Oregon. He was not on the original spring roster, but when Chris Williams hurt his shoulder in one of the first spring games, Steer was added to the depth group. He said, “The entire experience was incredible. I went from not knowing when I was reporting to minor league camp, to working out alongside big leaguers within a couple of days. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the best of the best up close. I was able to learn a lot by just watching how they went about their work everyday.” In 11 games played, he had two hits in eight at bats including a long, opposite field home run. Starting pitchers Winder and Canterino are now in Ft. Myers, working to prepare and stretch out for their 2021 minor league seasons. Banuelos and Steer will be playing their first spring training games today in Ft. Myers. Relievers Mason and Hackimer are in St. Paul at the Twins alternate site preparing for their seasons and preparing themselves and others to possibly help the big-league club as we await the start of the season. More Minor League Notes Just a couple quick Twins minor league notes: Royce Lewis on Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander This week, Twins shortstop prospect Royce Lewis was on the FOX Sports Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlandershow. Lewis talked about a number of topics from the roles that guys like Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz have played in his life and development. He talked some about his recovery from ACL surgery. He also talks about wine, and many other topics. It’s a fun interview. Twins Sign More International Free Agents When the international signing period opened on January 15th, the Twins signed several players including top shortstop prospects Danny De Andrade and Fredy LaFlor. In the past weeks, the Twins have signed a few more players including right-handed pitcher Jose Olivares. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote this of Oliveres: “For a while, Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old righthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup.” More Twins minor league coverage to come. Keep checking back. Click here to view the article
  4. TRANSACTIONS C Kyle Schmidt activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids LHP J.T. Perez activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids RHP Matt Cantinero assigned to Elizabethton from A Cedar Rapids 1B Chris Williams assigned to A+ Fort Myers from A Cedar Rapids BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 10, Biloxi 5 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: Alex Kirilloff (4) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Mark Contreras (3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) The Blue Wahoos won a feisty game against the Shuckers and pushed the series to a decisive game 5 tomorrow. The Blue Wahoos offense was popping all day and it got kicked off immediately with Alex Kirilloff’s fourth home run of the series. Did I mention that that’s four straight games with a homer for Kirilloff? https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1170487144466567168 The home runs didn’t end there as Ryan Jeffers blasted his first homer of the series and Mark Contreras got in on the action with his first homer of the series as well. In total, the Blue Wahoos knocked out 11 hits in the game with every player except for one in the starting lineup reaching base safely at least once. Ryan Costello left the game early when he was awkwardly tagged while diving back to 1st base. He walked back to the dugout holding his left arm and left the game early. Hopefully, he’ll be fine and back in the lineup tomorrow. On the pitching side of things, Charlie Barnes only went one inning and gave up four earned runs. He didn’t reach the 35-pitches-in-one-inning rule that the Twins have in their minor league system but Pensacola still played it on the safe side. Marcos Diplan and Tom Hackimer combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Barnes to help stabilize the game for Pensacola. Jovani Moran and Jonathan Cheshire then came in and combined for just a single earned run over their four combined innings. In total, that’s eight innings of just one-run ball from the Blue Wahoos’ bullpen to help win the game as the offense made quick work of almost every pitcher the Shuckers sent out there. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 4 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Tyler Webb (2-for-3, 3B) The Kernels lost the first game of the playoff series against the Clinton LumberKings. Andrew Cabezas had a tough start with four earned runs given up over 4 2/3 innings pitched. Nate Hadley and Denny Bentley both pitched in relief for Cabezas and combined for no earned runs through the end of the game. In total, the Kernels’ pitchers struck out 11 batters over eight innings. The Kernels offense was held at bay for the entire game as they struck out 14 times in the game with just four hits. The only extra-base hit was a triple from Tyler Webb who also was the only Kernels hitter who had a multi-hit game. The Kernels will have to win two straight games in order to advance in the postseason and game two will be tomorrow. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tom Hackimer (basically the entire Blue Wahoos bullpen) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Twins) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No game #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Twins) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 1-for-3 #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - No game #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, RBI, BB, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  5. Only two games in the minor league system as both the Kernels and Blue Wahoos fight through their playoffs. Each day now looks to possibly be the end of the season and winning is the only thing that will stop that. How their games went and more in this edition of the minor league report.TRANSACTIONS C Kyle Schmidt activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids LHP J.T. Perez activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids RHP Matt Cantinero assigned to Elizabethton from A Cedar Rapids 1B Chris Williams assigned to A+ Fort Myers from A Cedar Rapids BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 10, Biloxi 5 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: Alex Kirilloff (4) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Mark Contreras (3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) The Blue Wahoos won a feisty game against the Shuckers and pushed the series to a decisive game 5 tomorrow. The Blue Wahoos offense was popping all day and it got kicked off immediately with Alex Kirilloff’s fourth home run of the series. Did I mention that that’s four straight games with a homer for Kirilloff? The home runs didn’t end there as Ryan Jeffers blasted his first homer of the series and Mark Contreras got in on the action with his first homer of the series as well. In total, the Blue Wahoos knocked out 11 hits in the game with every player except for one in the starting lineup reaching base safely at least once. Ryan Costello left the game early when he was awkwardly tagged while diving back to 1st base. He walked back to the dugout holding his left arm and left the game early. Hopefully, he’ll be fine and back in the lineup tomorrow. On the pitching side of things, Charlie Barnes only went one inning and gave up four earned runs. He didn’t reach the 35-pitches-in-one-inning rule that the Twins have in their minor league system but Pensacola still played it on the safe side. Marcos Diplan and Tom Hackimer combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Barnes to help stabilize the game for Pensacola. Jovani Moran and Jonathan Cheshire then came in and combined for just a single earned run over their four combined innings. In total, that’s eight innings of just one-run ball from the Blue Wahoos’ bullpen to help win the game as the offense made quick work of almost every pitcher the Shuckers sent out there. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 4 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Tyler Webb (2-for-3, 3B) The Kernels lost the first game of the playoff series against the Clinton LumberKings. Andrew Cabezas had a tough start with four earned runs given up over 4 2/3 innings pitched. Nate Hadley and Denny Bentley both pitched in relief for Cabezas and combined for no earned runs through the end of the game. In total, the Kernels’ pitchers struck out 11 batters over eight innings. The Kernels offense was held at bay for the entire game as they struck out 14 times in the game with just four hits. The only extra-base hit was a triple from Tyler Webb who also was the only Kernels hitter who had a multi-hit game. The Kernels will have to win two straight games in order to advance in the postseason and game two will be tomorrow. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tom Hackimer (basically the entire Blue Wahoos bullpen) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Twins) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No game #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Twins) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 1-for-3 #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - No game #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, RBI, BB, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  6. Over the weekend, we handed out our choices for the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Lewin Diaz) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Jordan Balazovic). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers. Which bullpen arms had a strong May? Previous 2019 Relief Pitchers of the Month: April: Ryan Mason, Pensacola Blue WahoosBefore we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in May, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 9 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 22 KSam Clay - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 10 G, 1.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 18 KZach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 22 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 0.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he was a two-way player. He was the team’s shortstop and pitched as well. The Twins liked his arm a lot and drafted him as a pitcher only. He throws hard and has a good breaking ball. After a slow start to his season, Molina was fantastic in May. Opponents hit just .167/.255/.190 (.446). When he throws strikes consistently, good things happen. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 20 K After four seasons at St. Johns, Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He was promoted fairly quickly and even pitched in the Arizona Fall League. However, he was sidelined by injury through much of 2018 and his season ended early with a biceps surgery. He returned in 2019 and has been great. He began with the Miracle, however, after one May outing, he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola where he remained nearly unhittable. Opponents hit just .156/.296/.156 (.452) off of him in the month. He had 20 strikeouts in just 13 1/3 innings and he could advance another level this season. #2 - Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Vizcaya is potentially one of those feel-good stories that we all enjoy so much. He was originally signed in 2011 by Cleveland. He was in their organization through the 2014 season, peaking in the advanced rookie New York-Penn League. And then he was out of affiliated baseball until the Twins signed him this spring. He pitched some in the Venezuelan Winter League, but not a lot. However, he throws hard and has proven it was worth a shot for the Twins. He began the season in Ft. Myers and was promoted to Double-A Pensacola late in May. For the month, opponents hit just .160/.189/.200 (.389) off of the right-hander. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Hector Lujan - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Lujan was the Twins 35th-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmont College in California where he teamed with the Twins 32nd-round pick that year, Andrew Vasquez. Lujan has really improved since signing with the Twins. He now has a fastball that reaches to 95-96 mph and much improved breaking pitches. He took off late in the 2017 season when he became the Cedar Rapids closer and led the organization in saves. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for Cedar Rapids. He pitched well in 2018 in Ft. Myers. He posted a 2.64 ERA over 71 2/3 innings. Almost inexplicably, he remains with the Miracle. Through another 36 2/3 innings this year, he has a 2.21 ERA. In May, opponents hit just .151/.179/.219 (.398) against him. He walked three batters in the month, and all three were intentional. There were some really solid relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system.There were several players with 0.00 ERAs. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Hector Lujan, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2019. Click here to view the article
  7. Before we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in May, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 9 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 22 K Sam Clay - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 10 G, 1.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 18 K Zach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 22 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 0.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he was a two-way player. He was the team’s shortstop and pitched as well. The Twins liked his arm a lot and drafted him as a pitcher only. He throws hard and has a good breaking ball. After a slow start to his season, Molina was fantastic in May. Opponents hit just .167/.255/.190 (.446). When he throws strikes consistently, good things happen. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 20 K After four seasons at St. Johns, Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He was promoted fairly quickly and even pitched in the Arizona Fall League. However, he was sidelined by injury through much of 2018 and his season ended early with a biceps surgery. He returned in 2019 and has been great. He began with the Miracle, however, after one May outing, he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola where he remained nearly unhittable. Opponents hit just .156/.296/.156 (.452) off of him in the month. He had 20 strikeouts in just 13 1/3 innings and he could advance another level this season. #2 - Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Vizcaya is potentially one of those feel-good stories that we all enjoy so much. He was originally signed in 2011 by Cleveland. He was in their organization through the 2014 season, peaking in the advanced rookie New York-Penn League. And then he was out of affiliated baseball until the Twins signed him this spring. He pitched some in the Venezuelan Winter League, but not a lot. However, he throws hard and has proven it was worth a shot for the Twins. He began the season in Ft. Myers and was promoted to Double-A Pensacola late in May. For the month, opponents hit just .160/.189/.200 (.389) off of the right-hander. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Hector Lujan - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Lujan was the Twins 35th-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmont College in California where he teamed with the Twins 32nd-round pick that year, Andrew Vasquez. Lujan has really improved since signing with the Twins. He now has a fastball that reaches to 95-96 mph and much improved breaking pitches. He took off late in the 2017 season when he became the Cedar Rapids closer and led the organization in saves. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for Cedar Rapids. He pitched well in 2018 in Ft. Myers. He posted a 2.64 ERA over 71 2/3 innings. Almost inexplicably, he remains with the Miracle. Through another 36 2/3 innings this year, he has a 2.21 ERA. In May, opponents hit just .151/.179/.219 (.398) against him. He walked three batters in the month, and all three were intentional. There were some really solid relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system.There were several players with 0.00 ERAs. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Hector Lujan, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2019.
  8. It’s been quite the journey for Devin Smeltzer. Some of his former teammates were playing in the minors as he was busy tossing six shutout innings in his big-league debut. Those teammates are hoping to follow in his footsteps to baseball’s highest level. Who could be the next one to join him?TRANSACTIONS LHP Devin Smeltzer promoted to Minnesota. OF Jimmy Kerrigan activated from the IL with Pensacola. LHP Jovani Moran placed on IL with Pensacola. C Janigson Villalobos assigned to Elizabethton from Fort Myers. OF Albee Weiss promoted to Fort Myers. 2B Hunter Lee promoted to Fort Myers. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester --, Scranton/WB – (Postponed) Rochester’s game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was postponed on Tuesday because of severe weather. To make up for the game, the teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game scheduled for 4:05 pm CST. This is the seventh postponement of the season already for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Mississippi 0 Box Score Bryan Sammons started for the Blue Wahoos and he had an up and down night. On the good side, he limited Mississippi to no runs on three hits with eight strikeouts. On the bad side, he allowed five walks and could only pitch through the fourth inning. Lucky for him, the Blue Wahoo offense was more than enough on this night. Alex Kirilloff started the second inning with his sixth double. He didn’t have to wait long at second as Caleb Hamilton knocked a two-run bomb, his fourth home run of the year. Jimmy Kerrigan added to the lead with a lead-off homer in the sixth. Mitchell Kranson launched his fourth home run of the season in the seventh. It was a two-run shot after Hamilton singled to start the inning. Jordan Gore capped the inning with a home run of his own. Kirilloff wouldn’t be shown-up as he added his first Double-A home run. Adam Bray pitched one shutout inning. He allowed one hit and struck out one. Tom Hackimer earned his first win as he struck out five batters in three perfect frames. Sam Clay completed the shutout with a hitless ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Florida 5 (10 Innings) Box Score Royce Lewis got things started with a bang as he cranked a solo shot in the top of the first inning. It was his second home run of the year. Fort Myers would take an early 1-0 lead, but this game was far from over. Edwar Colina started on the mound and quickly surrendered the run back to Florida. He settled in nicely from there as he lasted six innings. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking one. The Miracle offense really got rolling in the fourth inning. Ryan Jeffers and Jose Miranda both knocked singles before Michael Helman brought them both in with a triple. Aaron Whitefield used a sacrifice fly to score Helman and the Miracle were back up by a score of 4-1. Johan Quezada pitched two very strong innings in relief. He didn’t allow a runner while striking out two. It was his third straight appearance where he pitched two innings and didn’t allow an earned run. Hector Lujan took over for the ninth and ran into a little trouble. After a single to start the inning, catcher David Banuelos allowed a passed ball. Following two ground outs, the runner was at third. Lujan tossed a wild pitch and the game was tied. It was his first blown save. Fort Myers made quick work in extra innings. Lewin Diaz scored on Trevor Larnach’s fourth hit of the night. Ryan Jeffers singled to put runners on the corners. With one out, Helman added another RBI with his second hit. Banuelos made up for his passed ball with an RBI single to cap the extra-inning scoring. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids --, Burlington – (Postponed) Cedar Rapids was scheduled to have a series opener with Burlington, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Inclement weather forced the teams into having a doubleheader on Wednesday. Game one of the series is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm with both games being scheduled for seven innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Tom Hackimer, Pensacola (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 K, 0 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Trevor Larnach, Fort Myers (4-for-5, 2B, RBI, R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-5, HR, R, RBI, 3 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 4-5, 2B, RBI, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – No game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – No game #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – No game #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – No game #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – No game #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – No game #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-5, 2 R, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – No game #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – No game #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/WB (4:05 CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (5-0, 1.81 ERA) Rochester @ Scranton/WB (Game 2) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 6.31 ERA) Pensacola vs. Mississippi (6:35 CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (Double-A Debut) Fort Myers @ Florida (5:00 CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (High-A Debut) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (5:00 CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.68 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (Game 2) – RHP Austin Schulfer (4-2, 2.41 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games. Click here to view the article
  9. TRANSACTIONS LHP Devin Smeltzer promoted to Minnesota. OF Jimmy Kerrigan activated from the IL with Pensacola. LHP Jovani Moran placed on IL with Pensacola. C Janigson Villalobos assigned to Elizabethton from Fort Myers. OF Albee Weiss promoted to Fort Myers. 2B Hunter Lee promoted to Fort Myers. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester --, Scranton/WB – (Postponed) Rochester’s game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was postponed on Tuesday because of severe weather. To make up for the game, the teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game scheduled for 4:05 pm CST. This is the seventh postponement of the season already for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Mississippi 0 Box Score Bryan Sammons started for the Blue Wahoos and he had an up and down night. On the good side, he limited Mississippi to no runs on three hits with eight strikeouts. On the bad side, he allowed five walks and could only pitch through the fourth inning. Lucky for him, the Blue Wahoo offense was more than enough on this night. Alex Kirilloff started the second inning with his sixth double. He didn’t have to wait long at second as Caleb Hamilton knocked a two-run bomb, his fourth home run of the year. Jimmy Kerrigan added to the lead with a lead-off homer in the sixth. Mitchell Kranson launched his fourth home run of the season in the seventh. It was a two-run shot after Hamilton singled to start the inning. Jordan Gore capped the inning with a home run of his own. Kirilloff wouldn’t be shown-up as he added his first Double-A home run. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1133566478647742469 Adam Bray pitched one shutout inning. He allowed one hit and struck out one. Tom Hackimer earned his first win as he struck out five batters in three perfect frames. Sam Clay completed the shutout with a hitless ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Florida 5 (10 Innings) Box Score Royce Lewis got things started with a bang as he cranked a solo shot in the top of the first inning. It was his second home run of the year. Fort Myers would take an early 1-0 lead, but this game was far from over. Edwar Colina started on the mound and quickly surrendered the run back to Florida. He settled in nicely from there as he lasted six innings. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking one. The Miracle offense really got rolling in the fourth inning. Ryan Jeffers and Jose Miranda both knocked singles before Michael Helman brought them both in with a triple. Aaron Whitefield used a sacrifice fly to score Helman and the Miracle were back up by a score of 4-1. Johan Quezada pitched two very strong innings in relief. He didn’t allow a runner while striking out two. It was his third straight appearance where he pitched two innings and didn’t allow an earned run. Hector Lujan took over for the ninth and ran into a little trouble. After a single to start the inning, catcher David Banuelos allowed a passed ball. Following two ground outs, the runner was at third. Lujan tossed a wild pitch and the game was tied. It was his first blown save. Fort Myers made quick work in extra innings. Lewin Diaz scored on Trevor Larnach’s fourth hit of the night. Ryan Jeffers singled to put runners on the corners. With one out, Helman added another RBI with his second hit. Banuelos made up for his passed ball with an RBI single to cap the extra-inning scoring. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids --, Burlington – (Postponed) Cedar Rapids was scheduled to have a series opener with Burlington, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Inclement weather forced the teams into having a doubleheader on Wednesday. Game one of the series is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm with both games being scheduled for seven innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Tom Hackimer, Pensacola (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 K, 0 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Trevor Larnach, Fort Myers (4-for-5, 2B, RBI, R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-5, HR, R, RBI, 3 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 4-5, 2B, RBI, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – No game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – No game #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – No game #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – No game #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – No game #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – No game #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-5, 2 R, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – No game #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – No game #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/WB (4:05 CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (5-0, 1.81 ERA) Rochester @ Scranton/WB (Game 2) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 6.31 ERA) Pensacola vs. Mississippi (6:35 CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (Double-A Debut) Fort Myers @ Florida (5:00 CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (High-A Debut) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (5:00 CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.68 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (Game 2) – RHP Austin Schulfer (4-2, 2.41 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  10. Normally, we write up a Top 4 or Top 5 and then highlight several honorable mentions. This month, there were six relievers that really stood out. We will profile all six of them. THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Joe Record - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.27 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 15 K I thought about putting Record in an Honorable Mention section only because of the innings, but his numbers when he did pitch were so incredible, so dominant, I wanted to write a bit about him. It is important to remember that after the Twins took Record in the 28th round in 2017 out of UC-Santa Barbara, he soon had Tommy John surgery. So April was his professional debut after missing two years. Obviously the Twins were going to be cautious with him, especially in the cold of the Midwest League, which explains the lack of innings. But in that limited time, batters hit just .040 (.151) against him. He struck out more than two batters per innings. And, after one more scoreless inning, and his fifth save, on May 1st, the 24-year-old was promoted to Ft. Myers. #5 - Cody Stashak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 16 K Stashak was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2015 out of St. Johns. He signed and spent his first three pro seasons as a starter. In 2018, he was moved to the bullpen and named to the Twins Daily 2018 Minor League All Star team after a terrific season in Chattanooga. He returns to AA this year with Pensacola and got off to a very good start. As he has done through his career, Stashak throws a lot of strikes, but out of the bullpen, he has been able to increase his velocity some and miss more bats. He limits hard contact. Definitely ready to move up to Rochester. #4 - Dusten Knight - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Knight came to the Twins last December in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft after spending the first six seasons of his pro career in the Giants organization. The righty was San Francisco’s 28th-round pick in 2013 out of college. He had a great April in the Twins organization. He limited base runners, threw strikes and when he did give up base runners, he limited damage. He pitched in seven games, finished six of them, went 1-0 and completed five saves. At this stage, he is probably best known for his post-saves back flip in front of the mound. Unfortunately, on May 1st, he was placed on the restricted list which typically means that he will be out for the next two months or more. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1116528545847812102 #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 0.68 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 2 H, 7 BB, 23 K Hackimer returned to the mound early in the 2019 season after missing most of the 2018 with an injury. In early October, he had a bicep tendon transfer surgery. He got a late start in spring training but he’s back and he’s been really good. The side-winding right-hander was completely dominant. Not only is he not allowing base runners (other than a few too many walks), but he is missing a lot of bats. Again, Hackimer is a guy who should move up to Double-A quickly. #2 - Alex Phillips - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 20 K Alex Phillips is an interesting case. Out of high school in Texas, he went to Arkansas and was good. He went to a junior college the next year (2015). Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery so he didn’t pitch again until 2017 when he attended Baylor. In 2018, he went 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA for Baylor but didn’t get drafted. He went to Evansville in the Frontier League. However, after 16 games there the Twins called and sent him to Ft. Myers. He pitched in two games for the Miracle before pitching more and pitching well in the Miracle’s run to the Florida State League championship. The 24-year-old started this year with the Miracle but as the calendar changed to May, Phillips was promoted to Pensacola. Phillips is blessed with a mid-90s fastball and an ability to throw strikes and miss bats. Most months, this resume and those results would win the top honors. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Pensacola Blue Wahoos – RHP Ryan Mason - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Ryan Mason was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2016 out of California where he was a starter. Since his first full season of pro ball, he has worked out of the bullpen, and been very good. In 2017, he posted a 2.01 ERA in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began 2018 but after three games he moved up to Ft. Myers. There he went 9-3 with five saves and a 2.84 ERA over 36 games and 69 2/3 innings. In April alone, Mason had four saves, splitting late-inning duties with Dusten Knight. Mason throws a lot of strikes and he gets a lot of movement. In the month, his 16 strikeouts to one walk ratio was remarkable. He worked high-leverage situations, threw a lot of strikes, missed a lot of bats and didn’t give up runs. Mason can be an intimidating opponent on the mound. He stands 6-6 and is lean and strong. He has a grizzly beard and an animated delivery that makes his low-to-mid 90s fastball appear a little quicker than it is. He is able to keep hitters off balance with solid secondary pitches. He is able to work the eighth or ninth inning, and he is able to eat two or three innings when needed. That is important because when the Twins have a need in the big leagues, it could be for one inning, or three innings, at a time. There were some really strong relief pitcher performances in April throughout the Twins minor league system. I mean, how do you pick between 0.00 ERAs? It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Ryan Mason, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2019.
  11. So far this week, we have handed out theoretical hardware to our choice for Twins Daily Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month and Starting Pitcher of the Month. Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers. Which bullpen arms had strong Aprils and got their season off to a fast start?Normally, we write up a Top 4 or Top 5 and then highlight several honorable mentions. This month, there were six relievers that really stood out. We will profile all six of them. THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Joe Record - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.27 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 15 K I thought about putting Record in an Honorable Mention section only because of the innings, but his numbers when he did pitch were so incredible, so dominant, I wanted to write a bit about him. It is important to remember that after the Twins took Record in the 28th round in 2017 out of UC-Santa Barbara, he soon had Tommy John surgery. So April was his professional debut after missing two years. Obviously the Twins were going to be cautious with him, especially in the cold of the Midwest League, which explains the lack of innings. But in that limited time, batters hit just .040 (.151) against him. He struck out more than two batters per innings. And, after one more scoreless inning, and his fifth save, on May 1st, the 24-year-old was promoted to Ft. Myers. #5 - Cody Stashak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 16 K Stashak was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2015 out of St. Johns. He signed and spent his first three pro seasons as a starter. In 2018, he was moved to the bullpen and named to the Twins Daily 2018 Minor League All Star team after a terrific season in Chattanooga. He returns to AA this year with Pensacola and got off to a very good start. As he has done through his career, Stashak throws a lot of strikes, but out of the bullpen, he has been able to increase his velocity some and miss more bats. He limits hard contact. Definitely ready to move up to Rochester. #4 - Dusten Knight - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Knight came to the Twins last December in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft after spending the first six seasons of his pro career in the Giants organization. The righty was San Francisco’s 28th-round pick in 2013 out of college. He had a great April in the Twins organization. He limited base runners, threw strikes and when he did give up base runners, he limited damage. He pitched in seven games, finished six of them, went 1-0 and completed five saves. At this stage, he is probably best known for his post-saves back flip in front of the mound. Unfortunately, on May 1st, he was placed on the restricted list which typically means that he will be out for the next two months or more. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 0.68 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 2 H, 7 BB, 23 K Hackimer returned to the mound early in the 2019 season after missing most of the 2018 with an injury. In early October, he had a bicep tendon transfer surgery. He got a late start in spring training but he’s back and he’s been really good. The side-winding right-hander was completely dominant. Not only is he not allowing base runners (other than a few too many walks), but he is missing a lot of bats. Again, Hackimer is a guy who should move up to Double-A quickly. #2 - Alex Phillips - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 20 K Alex Phillips is an interesting case. Out of high school in Texas, he went to Arkansas and was good. He went to a junior college the next year (2015). Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery so he didn’t pitch again until 2017 when he attended Baylor. In 2018, he went 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA for Baylor but didn’t get drafted. He went to Evansville in the Frontier League. However, after 16 games there the Twins called and sent him to Ft. Myers. He pitched in two games for the Miracle before pitching more and pitching well in the Miracle’s run to the Florida State League championship. The 24-year-old started this year with the Miracle but as the calendar changed to May, Phillips was promoted to Pensacola. Phillips is blessed with a mid-90s fastball and an ability to throw strikes and miss bats. Most months, this resume and those results would win the top honors. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Pensacola Blue Wahoos – RHP Ryan Mason - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Ryan Mason was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2016 out of California where he was a starter. Since his first full season of pro ball, he has worked out of the bullpen, and been very good. In 2017, he posted a 2.01 ERA in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began 2018 but after three games he moved up to Ft. Myers. There he went 9-3 with five saves and a 2.84 ERA over 36 games and 69 2/3 innings. In April alone, Mason had four saves, splitting late-inning duties with Dusten Knight. Mason throws a lot of strikes and he gets a lot of movement. In the month, his 16 strikeouts to one walk ratio was remarkable. He worked high-leverage situations, threw a lot of strikes, missed a lot of bats and didn’t give up runs. Mason can be an intimidating opponent on the mound. He stands 6-6 and is lean and strong. He has a grizzly beard and an animated delivery that makes his low-to-mid 90s fastball appear a little quicker than it is. He is able to keep hitters off balance with solid secondary pitches. He is able to work the eighth or ninth inning, and he is able to eat two or three innings when needed. That is important because when the Twins have a need in the big leagues, it could be for one inning, or three innings, at a time. There were some really strong relief pitcher performances in April throughout the Twins minor league system. I mean, how do you pick between 0.00 ERAs? It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Ryan Mason, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2019. Click here to view the article
  12. To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects who were in action on Tuesday fared, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS As alluded to above, Miguel Sano was officially sent on a rehab assignment to the Fort Myers Miracle. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Scranton/WB 2 Box Score The Rochester lineup pounded out 12 hits and drew four walks as they blew out the RailRiders 11-2 behind home runs from Drew Maggi, Zander Wiel, and Jordany Valdespin. Wiel’s fifth inning blast was his sixth of the year as he continues to slug above his career norms in the season’s opening month. He finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI, and also drew a walk. They took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third and never looked back as they tacked on more in each of the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Randy Cesar (2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI), Valdespin (2-for-5, R, HR, 2 RBI), and Maggi (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) also collected multiple hits on the game. Kohl Stewart got the start for the Red Wings, his first turn back with Rochester after making a spot start for the Twins and delivered a quality outing. He went the first six innings, scattering five hits and three walks and allowing just one run. He struck out three and was effectively wild, as just 51 of his 91 pitches went for strikes (56%). Tyler Duffey went the next two frames, allowing one run on three hits along with striking out three. Austin Adams finished the game, allowing two hits but no runs. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled Day Off Pensacola took a series on the road against the Jackson Generals 3-2 and got the day off on Tuesday as they head home for a series against the Biloxi Shuckers. The Blue Wahoos finished the month of April with their best record in team history at 17-8. They have won all five series they’ve played thus far and look to continue that trend with righthander Sean Poppen on the hill on Wednesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Clearwater 3, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The story heading into this game was the start of a rehab assignment for the Twins Miguel Sano. With his lacerated foot finally healed, he slotted in at third in the Miracle batting order, playing third base. In is first at-bat of the night, he was hit by pitch with the count at 2-0, and in his second drew a four-pitch walk where no pitch was close to the zone. With him scheduled to play just five innings he’d need some help from teammates to get another plate appearance, and luckily Royce Lewis did so with a two-out single. The first pitch Sano saw was definitely in his wheelhouse but ended up as just a towering infield flyout. Lewin Diaz then entered the game for him at first base, with Ryan Costello sliding over to third. On the mound for the Miracle was lefty Bryan Sammons, who carried a 0.42 ERA into this start. Although he managed to improve that mark to 0.40 on the game, he was only able to finish one inning as the Threshers lineup worked him for several long at-bats resulting in 37 total pitches. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out two but escaped with the bases loaded. Anthony Vizcaya came out from the bullpen for the second inning and finished the next three. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out four. Johan Quezada went the next two after that, allowing one run on one hit and three walks. He struck out three. Tom Hackimer then added two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. His ERA on the year in 13 1/3 innings now stands at 0.68. Calvin Faucher finished the game for the Miracle with a scoreless ninth, walking two but allowing no hits and striking out one. There wasn’t much offense to talk about for Fort Myers, as they managed just three hits on the game. Lewis raised his average back above .200 with a 2-for-4 night. Ben Rortvedt had the only extra-base hit with a double and drew a walk four plate appearances. KERNELS NUGGETS Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids - PPD: Rain The Kernels were unable to get their game in at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Tuesday as persistent rain kept the field too wet. They’ll make it up with a doubleheader on Wednesday, with right-hander Luis Rijo taking the mound for Cedar Rapids in game one at 5:00PM CST. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tom Hackimer, Fort Myers Miracle (2.0 IP, H, 3 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Rochester Red Wings (3-for-4, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Did not play #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game PPD #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 R, BB, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - No game #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (5:35PM CST) – RHP Zack Littell (1-2, 4.50 ERA) Biloxi @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (2-0, 0.75 ERA) Clearwater @ Fort Myers (12:00PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-3, 3.63 ERA) Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids, Game 1 (5:00PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.20 ERA) Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids, Game 2 - RHP Austin Schulfur (3-1, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  13. With the Pensacola Blue Wahoos having a travel day and the Cedar Rapids Kernels being rained out, there were just two games on Tuesday night in the system. A Minnesota Twins slugger made his first appearance in game action on the year, kicking off his rehab assignment with Fort Myers while Rochester’s offense clubbed their way to double-digit runs.To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects who were in action on Tuesday fared, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS As alluded to above, Miguel Sano was officially sent on a rehab assignment to the Fort Myers Miracle.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 11, Scranton/WB 2 Box Score The Rochester lineup pounded out 12 hits and drew four walks as they blew out the RailRiders 11-2 behind home runs from Drew Maggi, Zander Wiel, and Jordany Valdespin. Wiel’s fifth inning blast was his sixth of the year as he continues to slug above his career norms in the season’s opening month. He finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI, and also drew a walk. They took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third and never looked back as they tacked on more in each of the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Randy Cesar (2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI), Valdespin (2-for-5, R, HR, 2 RBI), and Maggi (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) also collected multiple hits on the game. Kohl Stewart got the start for the Red Wings, his first turn back with Rochester after making a spot start for the Twins and delivered a quality outing. He went the first six innings, scattering five hits and three walks and allowing just one run. He struck out three and was effectively wild, as just 51 of his 91 pitches went for strikes (56%). Tyler Duffey went the next two frames, allowing one run on three hits along with striking out three. Austin Adams finished the game, allowing two hits but no runs. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled Day Off Pensacola took a series on the road against the Jackson Generals 3-2 and got the day off on Tuesday as they head home for a series against the Biloxi Shuckers. The Blue Wahoos finished the month of April with their best record in team history at 17-8. They have won all five series they’ve played thus far and look to continue that trend with righthander Sean Poppen on the hill on Wednesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Clearwater 3, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The story heading into this game was the start of a rehab assignment for the Twins Miguel Sano. With his lacerated foot finally healed, he slotted in at third in the Miracle batting order, playing third base. In is first at-bat of the night, he was hit by pitch with the count at 2-0, and in his second drew a four-pitch walk where no pitch was close to the zone. With him scheduled to play just five innings he’d need some help from teammates to get another plate appearance, and luckily Royce Lewis did so with a two-out single. The first pitch Sano saw was definitely in his wheelhouse but ended up as just a towering infield flyout. Lewin Diaz then entered the game for him at first base, with Ryan Costello sliding over to third. On the mound for the Miracle was lefty Bryan Sammons, who carried a 0.42 ERA into this start. Although he managed to improve that mark to 0.40 on the game, he was only able to finish one inning as the Threshers lineup worked him for several long at-bats resulting in 37 total pitches. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out two but escaped with the bases loaded. Anthony Vizcaya came out from the bullpen for the second inning and finished the next three. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out four. Johan Quezada went the next two after that, allowing one run on one hit and three walks. He struck out three. Tom Hackimer then added two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. His ERA on the year in 13 1/3 innings now stands at 0.68. Calvin Faucher finished the game for the Miracle with a scoreless ninth, walking two but allowing no hits and striking out one. There wasn’t much offense to talk about for Fort Myers, as they managed just three hits on the game. Lewis raised his average back above .200 with a 2-for-4 night. Ben Rortvedt had the only extra-base hit with a double and drew a walk four plate appearances. KERNELS NUGGETS Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids - PPD: Rain The Kernels were unable to get their game in at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Tuesday as persistent rain kept the field too wet. They’ll make it up with a doubleheader on Wednesday, with right-hander Luis Rijo taking the mound for Cedar Rapids in game one at 5:00PM CST. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tom Hackimer, Fort Myers Miracle (2.0 IP, H, 3 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Rochester Red Wings (3-for-4, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Did not play #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game PPD #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 R, BB, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - No game #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (5:35PM CST) – RHP Zack Littell (1-2, 4.50 ERA) Biloxi @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (2-0, 0.75 ERA) Clearwater @ Fort Myers (12:00PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-3, 3.63 ERA) Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids, Game 1 (5:00PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.20 ERA) Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids, Game 2 - RHP Austin Schulfur (3-1, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  14. Ranking prospects is a difficult task and everyone has a bit of a different methodology. This series isn’t meant to be critical of any of the other lists out there, it’s all about presenting a positive case for the featured player. We’re starting at the bottom of my list and working up from there. Here’s a look at what’s on deck: Range 41-50 spotlight: Zander Wiel, No. 48 Range 31-40 spotlight: Tom Hackimer, No. 36 Range 21-30 spotlight: Coming Dec. 5 Range 11-20 spotlight: Coming Dec. 12 Range 1-10 spotlight: Coming Dec. 19 “Billy, this is Chad Bradford. He's a relief pitcher. He is one of the most undervalued players in baseball. His defect is that he throws funny. Nobody in the big leagues cares about him, because he looks funny. This guy could be not just the best pitcher in our bullpen, but one of the most effective relief pitchers in all of baseball.” -Moneyball (the movie) The days of sidearm pitchers being overlooked are probably behind us now. There have been so many good ones over the past few years: Pat Neshek, Darren O’Day, Brad Ziegler, Steve Cishek and Joe Smith, just to name a few. Tom Hackimer is one of those guys who throws funny. Having been a fourth-round pick in 2016, however, the Twins clearly viewed him as much more than just a novelty act. I’m sure you can already guess where this is going. Yes, I’m going to compare Hackimer to Trevor Hildenberger. It’s irresistible. Not all guys who throw sidearm are created equal, but it’s pretty striking how similar Hackimer’s 2017 season was to Hildy’s 2015. Hackimer 2017 24.0 IP with CR, 37.1 IP with FM 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Opponents: .142/.256/.171 (.427 OPS) vs. LHB: .184/.291/.241 (.533 OPS) Hildenberger 2015 45.0 IP with CR, 19.0 IP with FM 1.55 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 1.0 BB/9 Opponents: .176/.206/.194 (.400 OPS) vs. LHB: .247/.267/.278 (.546 OPS) The edge goes to ‘15 Hildenberger, but it’s worth noting that he spent a larger percentage of his time in Low-A and was in his age 24 season while Hackimer just turned 23 in June. The big concern with sidearm hurlers is how they’ll fare against opposite-sided hitters. As you can see, Hackimer actually allowed less damage to lefties than Hildenberger. But the area where you notice the biggest difference between those two is definitely a cause for concern. Whereas Hildenberger was amazing at limiting free passes in the minors, Hackimer has had a bit of trouble with his control. He seemed to have tamed his wildness during his time with the Kernels at the beginning of last season. In 24.0 innings pitched, he’d only walked three batters (3.3 BB%). After his promotion, however, Hackimer lost some of that feel and walked 19 batters in 37.1 innings with the Miracle (12.3 BB%). An ugly performance on Aug. 13 really took its toll, as Hackimer walked four batters while failing to record an out. He entered the ninth inning of an 11-2 game and was left out on the mound for a while. Hackimer walked in three runs before manager Doug Mientkiewicz finally brought out the hook. It’s possible Doug saw it as an opportunity for Hackimer to work through some things and grow from the experience, or it could have just been that he was trying to save the rest of his pen. Either way, that performance ended up really damaging Hackimer’s overall numbers. Full season: 1.76 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 3.23 K:BB ratio Minus Aug. 13: 1.03 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 3.94 K:BB ratio I know a lot of people don’t like to fudge with the numbers like this. That bad outing happened, and it was real ugly, but I’m willing to give a free pass. There are valid reasons why a player may have a bad game, and I’m inclined to look at that bottom line of numbers as sort of the “real” Tom Hackimer. He also hit 11 batters, however, so the concerns over his control are definitely legit. Hackimer also got to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, where he had a 2.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 11.2 innings. While it was nice to see him hold his own against some stiff competition in an environment that’s typically tough on pitchers, the control concerns remained. He walked seven batters and hit three more in the AFL. We learned in Seth’s “Get To Know” interview with Hackimer this February that he was a physics major in college. It seems there’s a good chance he’d be interested in things like spin rates or pitch tunnels and may even have a leg up on other players in terms of his ability to interpret and apply some of that information. Plus, in the grand scheme of things, he’s really still figuring things out on the mound. Hackimer walked on at St. John’s (where he had an academic scholarship) and converted to the mound from shortstop. He didn't pitch at all in high school, so 2013 was really the first time he pitched regularly. His changeup is still a work in progress, so if he can harness that pitch the concerns against lefties will really be eased. He’s a bit of a mad scientist on the mound (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), so I wouldn’t bet against him harnessing his control. Sir Isaac Newton said “what goes up must come down” but Hackimer pitches more to the theory of “what goes down cannot come up.” He had an insane ground ball rate of 65.2 percent, which was the 10th highest among pitchers who logged at least 60 innings in affiliated ball last season. Thanks to that remarkable ability to keep the ball on the ground, Hackimer was excellent at limiting damage. He faced 246 batters and gave up only four doubles and a triple while not surrendering a single home run. Nobody seems to be able to square up the ball against Hackimer. Trying to rank relief prospects is especially difficult. Starting pitchers are more valuable, but so many of them end up transitioning to the bullpen anyway. Plus, even six-inning starts are becoming rare and eight-men bullpens are the new normal, so relievers are becoming much more valuable. Hackimer’s prospect stock is hurt because he’s a reliever, but the fact that he throws funny and doesn’t exactly light up the radar gun doesn't help his case, either. He’s also been a bit older than the average player for his level so far, but these are all the same things that could have been said about Hildenberger and plenty of other guys who’ve made it. The numbers have been impressive, he just needs to keep moving onwards and upwards. For more on Tom Hackimer and about 170 other Twins minor leaguers, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2018 Twins Prospect Handbook, which will be available later this winter.
  15. As a way to look back at a great minor league season and look ahead toward the release of the 2018 Twins Prospect Handbook, I am writing a series of features on prospects I seem to be especially high on. Next to receive the spotlight treatment is right-handed relief pitcher Tom Hackimer.Ranking prospects is a difficult task and everyone has a bit of a different methodology. This series isn’t meant to be critical of any of the other lists out there, it’s all about presenting a positive case for the featured player. We’re starting at the bottom of my list and working up from there. Here’s a look at what’s on deck: Range 41-50 spotlight: Zander Wiel, No. 48 Range 31-40 spotlight: Tom Hackimer, No. 36 Range 21-30 spotlight: Coming Dec. 5 Range 11-20 spotlight: Coming Dec. 12 Range 1-10 spotlight: Coming Dec. 19 “Billy, this is Chad Bradford. He's a relief pitcher. He is one of the most undervalued players in baseball. His defect is that he throws funny. Nobody in the big leagues cares about him, because he looks funny. This guy could be not just the best pitcher in our bullpen, but one of the most effective relief pitchers in all of baseball.” -Moneyball (the movie) The days of sidearm pitchers being overlooked are probably behind us now. There have been so many good ones over the past few years: Pat Neshek, Darren O’Day, Brad Ziegler, Steve Cishek and Joe Smith, just to name a few. Tom Hackimer is one of those guys who throws funny. Having been a fourth-round pick in 2016, however, the Twins clearly viewed him as much more than just a novelty act. I’m sure you can already guess where this is going. Yes, I’m going to compare Hackimer to Trevor Hildenberger. It’s irresistible. Not all guys who throw sidearm are created equal, but it’s pretty striking how similar Hackimer’s 2017 season was to Hildy’s 2015. Hackimer 2017 24.0 IP with CR, 37.1 IP with FM 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Opponents: .142/.256/.171 (.427 OPS) vs. LHB: .184/.291/.241 (.533 OPS) Hildenberger 2015 45.0 IP with CR, 19.0 IP with FM 1.55 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 1.0 BB/9 Opponents: .176/.206/.194 (.400 OPS) vs. LHB: .247/.267/.278 (.546 OPS) The edge goes to ‘15 Hildenberger, but it’s worth noting that he spent a larger percentage of his time in Low-A and was in his age 24 season while Hackimer just turned 23 in June. The big concern with sidearm hurlers is how they’ll fare against opposite-sided hitters. As you can see, Hackimer actually allowed less damage to lefties than Hildenberger. But the area where you notice the biggest difference between those two is definitely a cause for concern. Whereas Hildenberger was amazing at limiting free passes in the minors, Hackimer has had a bit of trouble with his control. He seemed to have tamed his wildness during his time with the Kernels at the beginning of last season. In 24.0 innings pitched, he’d only walked three batters (3.3 BB%). After his promotion, however, Hackimer lost some of that feel and walked 19 batters in 37.1 innings with the Miracle (12.3 BB%). An ugly performance on Aug. 13 really took its toll, as Hackimer walked four batters while failing to record an out. He entered the ninth inning of an 11-2 game and was left out on the mound for a while. Hackimer walked in three runs before manager Doug Mientkiewicz finally brought out the hook. It’s possible Doug saw it as an opportunity for Hackimer to work through some things and grow from the experience, or it could have just been that he was trying to save the rest of his pen. Either way, that performance ended up really damaging Hackimer’s overall numbers. Full season: 1.76 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 3.23 K:BB ratio Minus Aug. 13: 1.03 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 3.94 K:BB ratio I know a lot of people don’t like to fudge with the numbers like this. That bad outing happened, and it was real ugly, but I’m willing to give a free pass. There are valid reasons why a player may have a bad game, and I’m inclined to look at that bottom line of numbers as sort of the “real” Tom Hackimer. He also hit 11 batters, however, so the concerns over his control are definitely legit. Hackimer also got to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, where he had a 2.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 11.2 innings. While it was nice to see him hold his own against some stiff competition in an environment that’s typically tough on pitchers, the control concerns remained. He walked seven batters and hit three more in the AFL. We learned in Seth’s “Get To Know” interview with Hackimer this February that he was a physics major in college. It seems there’s a good chance he’d be interested in things like spin rates or pitch tunnels and may even have a leg up on other players in terms of his ability to interpret and apply some of that information. Plus, in the grand scheme of things, he’s really still figuring things out on the mound. Hackimer walked on at St. John’s (where he had an academic scholarship) and converted to the mound from shortstop. He didn't pitch at all in high school, so 2013 was really the first time he pitched regularly. His changeup is still a work in progress, so if he can harness that pitch the concerns against lefties will really be eased. He’s a bit of a mad scientist on the mound (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), so I wouldn’t bet against him harnessing his control. Sir Isaac Newton said “what goes up must come down” but Hackimer pitches more to the theory of “what goes down cannot come up.” He had an insane ground ball rate of 65.2 percent, which was the 10th highest among pitchers who logged at least 60 innings in affiliated ball last season. Thanks to that remarkable ability to keep the ball on the ground, Hackimer was excellent at limiting damage. He faced 246 batters and gave up only four doubles and a triple while not surrendering a single home run. Nobody seems to be able to square up the ball against Hackimer. Trying to rank relief prospects is especially difficult. Starting pitchers are more valuable, but so many of them end up transitioning to the bullpen anyway. Plus, even six-inning starts are becoming rare and eight-men bullpens are the new normal, so relievers are becoming much more valuable. Hackimer’s prospect stock is hurt because he’s a reliever, but the fact that he throws funny and doesn’t exactly light up the radar gun doesn't help his case, either. He’s also been a bit older than the average player for his level so far, but these are all the same things that could have been said about Hildenberger and plenty of other guys who’ve made it. The numbers have been impressive, he just needs to keep moving onwards and upwards. For more on Tom Hackimer and about 170 other Twins minor leaguers, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2018 Twins Prospect Handbook, which will be available later this winter. Click here to view the article
  16. To find out what happened with all the Twins prospects in the AFL during week 5, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 5.87 ERA (overall). After appearing in the Fall Stars game on Saturday of last week, Jay made just one appearance in week 5 of the AFL season. That came on Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs. With the score already 6-2, Jay came on for the top of the sixth inning. He struck out the first batter of the inning, before issuing a walk to the next. This pattern repeated a second time giving him two outs with two runners on base. He got the final out with a pop up to second base to deliver a scoreless inning. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 1-8, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K’s; .238/.351/.413 (overall). Wade had perhaps the most noteworthy week of Twins prospects in Arizona, but the reason for that was an unfortunate one. He appeared in four games on the week, but got at-bats only in the first three. In the first game of the week on Monday, a 2-1 walk-off loss to the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted seventh and played in right field. He finished the game 1-4, but was responsible for the Saguaros only run of the game, when he slugged his second AFL home run in the top of the fourth inning. This gave Surprise a 1-0 lead that they held until the bottom of the ninth inning. Wade’s second game of the week came in the loss to Glendale on Thursday, and like the rest of his team didn’t have much success. Batting fifth, he finished this one 0-2, but did draw a walk in the sixth and was hit by a pitch in the eighth, so he did reach base multiple times. In Friday’s 11-5 win over Peoria, Wade hit sixth in the lineup and was productive despite not reaching base in the game and also accounting for all three outs in the Saguaros seven-run fifth inning. Wade drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then the last of the game with another in the seventh that made the score 11-2. In that seven run fifth inning, Wade led off with a strikeout, and when the lineup got back around to him he grounded into a double play. Weird and unfortunate things happen in baseball games, and that was the case for Wade on Saturday. In the top of the second inning, Wade and teammate Oscar Mercado collided on a fly-ball heading toward the gap. Mercado made the catch for the final out of the inning, but Wade’s diving attempt put him in harm’s way on the collision. Wade was taken off the field on a stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion, likely putting an end to his AFL campaign a little early. In good news, Wade was reportedly able to return to the stadium before the conclusion of the game, so it could have been a lot worse. I’ve had a concussion or two myself from playing baseball, so I know how this feels! Get well soon, LaMonte! Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-13, 4 R’s, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 4 K’s; .279/.323/.459 (overall). Paul’s first game of the week came on Tuesday, in a 6-1 win over Glendale. Batting fifth and playing first base, Paul finished 1-5 with a strikeout. His hit came in the form of a single to lead off the sixth inning, but he was erased quickly on a double play ball from the next hitter. In Friday’s win, Paul batted seventh in the lineup behind Wade, and collected two hits on the day. In the seven-run fifth inning, Paul got the hitting started with a one-out single, and later scored on a ground ball from Sean Miller for the first run of the frame. He then led off the top of the sixth inning with his second AFL home run to left field. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored and the home run. Paul put up even better numbers in Saturday’s 11-10 loss to Peoria, where he batted sixth in the lineup. His first hit of the game came in the fourth inning, when Surprise again put seven runs on the scoreboard. His single brought in the first two runs of the game for Surprise to make the score 6-2, and they would take the lead with the long two-out rally before the inning was over. In the bottom of the fifth Paul came up with two runners on base and delivered a triple deep to center field to extend their lead to 9-6. He then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-6 before the Saguaros pitching gave the lead back in the last two innings. All told Paul was 2-4 with two runs scored and four RBI to end his week on a high note. Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 1.1IP, H, BB, 3 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall). Vasquez was the only Twins pitcher on the week to make multiple appearances, and they came in Thursday’s and Saturday’s contests, both losses. He got the eighth inning with his team down 6-2 to the Desert Dogs on Thursday, and retired the first two hitters of the inning with strikeouts before a fielding error and single put runners on the corners. He was able to get out of that jam by getting a ground ball for the inning's final out. He threw 27 pitches in the outing, with 19 going for strikes. On Saturday against the Javelinas, Vasquez again came into the game in the eighth inning but this time it was with the bases loaded, two outs, and his team now up by two. He was charged with a blown save after he walked in a run, then hit a batter to tie the game at 10 before picking up a strikeout to end the inning. On ten pitches, he threw just three strikes in the outing and in the ninth inning Peoria took back the lead. Ryan Eades: 1 appearance, 1.1IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall). The righthander’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 6-2 loss, when he was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen, with two outs in the third inning after the starter had run in to heaps of trouble. Three runs had already scored in the frame, and the first batter Eades faced clubbed a ground-rule double for a fourth before he picked up a strikeout to end the inning with the Saguaros now down 5-0 early. Back out for the fourth inning, Eades gave up his first earned run of the AFL season, as the leadoff man clubbed a home run to left field. He struck out one more hitter and gave up a single but no more damage in the inning. On the game, 15 of his 18 pitches went for strikes, including four swings-and-misses. Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BBs, K; 2.79 ERA (overall). Hackimer’s only appearance on the week was also in Thursday’s loss to Glendale, coming into the game after Tyler Jay for the seventh inning. He hit the first batter of the inning with a pitch and later walked two batters that loaded the bases with two outs, but picked up a big strikeout to keep any damage off the scoreboard. Of his 21 pitches in the inning, just 8 went for strikes. Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-7, RBI, BB, K; .289/.333/.311 (overall). The middle infielder saw action in two games in week five, playing second base and batting ninth on Tuesday and Friday, both wins for the Saguaros. Miller finished Tuesday’s game 1-4, picking up a single to leadoff the top of the ninth in the 6-1 victory over Glendale. He ended up stranded on third base with the bases loaded. On Friday Miller was 0-3 in the batters box, but picked up an RBI and scored a run for his team in the 11-5 rout. In the seven-run fifth inning, his ground ball to third base scored Chris Paul as the throw home was late, allowing him to reach first. He later scored on a single. In the sixth inning Miller drew a walk but ended up stranded in while in scoring position. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - If you want to hear more about the Twins prospects in some of these games from an in-person perspective, make sure to check out Twins Daily’s blog section, and the three entries from member ashburyjohn. He and a few friends were on hand in Arizona this week and he provided his thoughts each day they watched, along with some great pictures of the action! (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) - As they do every week during the minor league season, Baseball America has an AFL Hot Sheet, with Chris Paul checking in at #9 for his performance this week, and is the first Twins prospect to appear on the lists. - In somewhat disappointing news for a prospect follower like me (and perhaps since it’s fun to mention #SonOfPudge every once in a while in the minor league reports), pitcher Dereck Rodriguez has moved on from the Twins organization and signed with the San Francisco Giants. I’m disappointed to see him go as he was a very intriguing prospect to follow with his switch to pitching. Good luck Dereck, hope to see you in the bigs soon! - Paul Sporer of RotoGraphs gives his annual favorites from his time out in Arizona. While there aren’t any Twins in the list of prospects this year, he does mention Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario as some of his favorites that he has seen in the past. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!
  17. (This report includes the games played through 11/12) Week 5 of the AFL season saw the Surprise Saguaros compile a 2-3 record, with two of their losses coming in the final at-bats of their opponents. At 11-15 on the season, they sit in third (last) place in the West Division. Twins prospects had a mixed bag in week 5. One pitcher gave up his first earned run of the season, while the others all had scares but came out unscathed. One hitter racked up five RBI’s on the week, and another may have had his season cut short due to a scary outfield collision.To find out what happened with all the Twins prospects in the AFL during week 5, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 5.87 ERA (overall). After appearing in the Fall Stars game on Saturday of last week, Jay made just one appearance in week 5 of the AFL season. That came on Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs. With the score already 6-2, Jay came on for the top of the sixth inning. He struck out the first batter of the inning, before issuing a walk to the next. This pattern repeated a second time giving him two outs with two runners on base. He got the final out with a pop up to second base to deliver a scoreless inning. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 1-8, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K’s; .238/.351/.413 (overall). Wade had perhaps the most noteworthy week of Twins prospects in Arizona, but the reason for that was an unfortunate one. He appeared in four games on the week, but got at-bats only in the first three. In the first game of the week on Monday, a 2-1 walk-off loss to the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted seventh and played in right field. He finished the game 1-4, but was responsible for the Saguaros only run of the game, when he slugged his second AFL home run in the top of the fourth inning. This gave Surprise a 1-0 lead that they held until the bottom of the ninth inning. Wade’s second game of the week came in the loss to Glendale on Thursday, and like the rest of his team didn’t have much success. Batting fifth, he finished this one 0-2, but did draw a walk in the sixth and was hit by a pitch in the eighth, so he did reach base multiple times. In Friday’s 11-5 win over Peoria, Wade hit sixth in the lineup and was productive despite not reaching base in the game and also accounting for all three outs in the Saguaros seven-run fifth inning. Wade drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then the last of the game with another in the seventh that made the score 11-2. In that seven run fifth inning, Wade led off with a strikeout, and when the lineup got back around to him he grounded into a double play. Weird and unfortunate things happen in baseball games, and that was the case for Wade on Saturday. In the top of the second inning, Wade and teammate Oscar Mercado collided on a fly-ball heading toward the gap. Mercado made the catch for the final out of the inning, but Wade’s diving attempt put him in harm’s way on the collision. Wade was taken off the field on a stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion, likely putting an end to his AFL campaign a little early. In good news, Wade was reportedly able to return to the stadium before the conclusion of the game, so it could have been a lot worse. I’ve had a concussion or two myself from playing baseball, so I know how this feels! Get well soon, LaMonte! Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-13, 4 R’s, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 4 K’s; .279/.323/.459 (overall). Paul’s first game of the week came on Tuesday, in a 6-1 win over Glendale. Batting fifth and playing first base, Paul finished 1-5 with a strikeout. His hit came in the form of a single to lead off the sixth inning, but he was erased quickly on a double play ball from the next hitter. In Friday’s win, Paul batted seventh in the lineup behind Wade, and collected two hits on the day. In the seven-run fifth inning, Paul got the hitting started with a one-out single, and later scored on a ground ball from Sean Miller for the first run of the frame. He then led off the top of the sixth inning with his second AFL home run to left field. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored and the home run. Paul put up even better numbers in Saturday’s 11-10 loss to Peoria, where he batted sixth in the lineup. His first hit of the game came in the fourth inning, when Surprise again put seven runs on the scoreboard. His single brought in the first two runs of the game for Surprise to make the score 6-2, and they would take the lead with the long two-out rally before the inning was over. In the bottom of the fifth Paul came up with two runners on base and delivered a triple deep to center field to extend their lead to 9-6. He then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-6 before the Saguaros pitching gave the lead back in the last two innings. All told Paul was 2-4 with two runs scored and four RBI to end his week on a high note. Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 1.1IP, H, BB, 3 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall). Vasquez was the only Twins pitcher on the week to make multiple appearances, and they came in Thursday’s and Saturday’s contests, both losses. He got the eighth inning with his team down 6-2 to the Desert Dogs on Thursday, and retired the first two hitters of the inning with strikeouts before a fielding error and single put runners on the corners. He was able to get out of that jam by getting a ground ball for the inning's final out. He threw 27 pitches in the outing, with 19 going for strikes. On Saturday against the Javelinas, Vasquez again came into the game in the eighth inning but this time it was with the bases loaded, two outs, and his team now up by two. He was charged with a blown save after he walked in a run, then hit a batter to tie the game at 10 before picking up a strikeout to end the inning. On ten pitches, he threw just three strikes in the outing and in the ninth inning Peoria took back the lead. Ryan Eades: 1 appearance, 1.1IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall). The righthander’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 6-2 loss, when he was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen, with two outs in the third inning after the starter had run in to heaps of trouble. Three runs had already scored in the frame, and the first batter Eades faced clubbed a ground-rule double for a fourth before he picked up a strikeout to end the inning with the Saguaros now down 5-0 early. Back out for the fourth inning, Eades gave up his first earned run of the AFL season, as the leadoff man clubbed a home run to left field. He struck out one more hitter and gave up a single but no more damage in the inning. On the game, 15 of his 18 pitches went for strikes, including four swings-and-misses. Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BBs, K; 2.79 ERA (overall). Hackimer’s only appearance on the week was also in Thursday’s loss to Glendale, coming into the game after Tyler Jay for the seventh inning. He hit the first batter of the inning with a pitch and later walked two batters that loaded the bases with two outs, but picked up a big strikeout to keep any damage off the scoreboard. Of his 21 pitches in the inning, just 8 went for strikes. Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-7, RBI, BB, K; .289/.333/.311 (overall). The middle infielder saw action in two games in week five, playing second base and batting ninth on Tuesday and Friday, both wins for the Saguaros. Miller finished Tuesday’s game 1-4, picking up a single to leadoff the top of the ninth in the 6-1 victory over Glendale. He ended up stranded on third base with the bases loaded. On Friday Miller was 0-3 in the batters box, but picked up an RBI and scored a run for his team in the 11-5 rout. In the seven-run fifth inning, his ground ball to third base scored Chris Paul as the throw home was late, allowing him to reach first. He later scored on a single. In the sixth inning Miller drew a walk but ended up stranded in while in scoring position. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - If you want to hear more about the Twins prospects in some of these games from an in-person perspective, make sure to check out Twins Daily’s blog section, and the three entries from member ashburyjohn. He and a few friends were on hand in Arizona this week and he provided his thoughts each day they watched, along with some great pictures of the action! (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) - As they do every week during the minor league season, Baseball America has an AFL Hot Sheet, with Chris Paul checking in at #9 for his performance this week, and is the first Twins prospect to appear on the lists. - In somewhat disappointing news for a prospect follower like me (and perhaps since it’s fun to mention #SonOfPudge every once in a while in the minor league reports), pitcher Dereck Rodriguez has moved on from the Twins organization and signed with the San Francisco Giants. I’m disappointed to see him go as he was a very intriguing prospect to follow with his switch to pitching. Good luck Dereck, hope to see you in the bigs soon! - Paul Sporer of RotoGraphs gives his annual favorites from his time out in Arizona. While there aren’t any Twins in the list of prospects this year, he does mention Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario as some of his favorites that he has seen in the past. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week! Click here to view the article
  18. To find out just how good each of the Minnesota Twins prospects performed in week 3 of the AFL season, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 K’s; 3.18 ERA (overall). In Tuesday’s win, Jay got the ball for the bottom of the sixth inning with his team up 3-0. He started his outing with a strikeout but then got himself into some trouble, surrendering a double and single that put runners on second and third. Instead of giving up any runs, he went right after the next two hitters and bulldogged it, striking them both out on three pitches with the K’s coming on a pair of 93 MPH swing-and-miss fastballs. His strikeout to start the frame also came on just three pitches, with an 83 MPH backdoor slider sending the hitter back to the dugout. 14 of his 17 pitches went for strikes in the outing. In the 6-5 loss to Scorpions on Friday, Jay again was summoned for the sixth inning, this time with his team down 4-2. The first batter reached on an infield error, but Jay retired the next three hitters for a scoreless inning. 13 of his 17 pitches in this one went for strikes as Jay continues to demonstrate his strong control after a tough season. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 4-14, 3 R’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; .250/.362/.375 (overall). In Monday’s 4-3 win against the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted second and played in right field. He drew a walk in the third inning but was retired on a double-play ball from the next batter. In the fifth, his single was the second of three consecutive to start the inning, and he was on third base when the Saguaros attempted a double steal. He was thrown out at home to end the inning, and the Surprise was only able to score one with the bases loaded and no outs. He finished this game 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Against the Rafters again on Tuesday, Wade batted fifth in the lineup and was in right field yet again. In typical fashion he picked up a single, scored a run, and drew another walk to finish his day 1-3. After singling in the fifth, Wade stole his first base in the AFL and then scored on a double for the first run of the game in the 4-3 win. In a 10-5 loss versus the Glendale Desert Dogs on Thursday, Wade finished 1-5 with a run scored batting second. His hit came in the first inning with a single and he didn’t reach base again until the ninth when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. The next batter tripled to bring him in for the Saguaros final run and a tally in his overall stat line. Wade finished his week on Friday with yet typical day. In the 6-5 loss he went 1-3 with a run scored and was also hit by a pitch to reach multiple times. That HBP loaded the bases for Surprise in the sixth inning, and the next hitter cleared them with a triple that put them out front 5-4. He singled in the top of the eighth, but was later thrown out at home representing the tying run as unfortunately this was the game where an appearance went awry for a Twins reliever. Chris Paul: 3 games, 3-10, 2 R’s, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 3 K’s; .306/.359/.443 (overall). Paul started his week 3 with a bang after winning the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday, as he slugged his first AFL home run in Monday’s win against Salt River. His solo shot led off the bottom of the fourth inning and tied the game at two. Paul was also hit by a pitch in this one, so he reached base multiple times. Paul was the only Twins prospect to appear in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over Glendale, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact, finishing 0-4 with a strikeout. In their loss on Friday to Scottsdale, Paul was back in the cleanup spot after batting fifth in the prior two games, and stood in at third base instead of first. He led off the top of the second inning with a double, but ended up stranded on third base. In the sixth inning he drew a walk and scored on the same triple as Wade that put Surprise out front briefly. He also singled in the eighth inning but was erased on a double play ball. Andrew Vasquez: two appearances, 2.2IP, 0 H’s, BB, K; 1.23 ERA (overall). Vasquez got the eighth inning in the Twins bullpen game on Tuesday, and threw 21 pitches (12 for strikes) in a scoreless inning. He did walk a batter, but no damage was done in a good appearance in the 4-3 win. In Friday’s 6-5 loss, Vasquez was summoned in the middle of the fourth inning as starter Zach Lovvorn ran into trouble. With two runs already in and runners on first and second, Vasquez came on and…hit his first batter to load the bases. But he still wasn’t the pitcher who gave up runs in this game, as he got the next hitter to line into an inning-ending double play. Back out for the fifth, Vasquez pitched a one-two-three inning, striking out the first batter of the frame to close out his week. Ryan Eades: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 4 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall). In Tuesday’s win Eades was the first Twins prospect called in from the bullpen for the fifth inning and was untouchable against the middle of the Rafters lineup, striking out all three hitters he faced. 10 of his 12 pitches went for strikes, and they included three swinging strikes and only a few pitches hitters managed to foul off. The K’s came on two high fastballs at 92 MPH, and a curveball in the dirt for a swing-and-miss. On Friday, Eades pitched the eighth inning, finishing the game for Surprise in the 6-5 loss. He got two quick outs on just four pitches, including a three-pitch K, before surrendering a single on a grounder through the left side of the infield. He got the next batter to line out, finishing the inning on just seven pitches (six for strikes) and punctuating an efficient and dominant week for the right-hander. Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 2 ER’s, 4 BB, 3 K’s; 4.50 ERA (overall). Hackimer came in the game after Jay on Tuesday, pitching the seventh inning in their win against Salt River. Like Eades and Jay before him, Hackimer delivered a scoreless frame to keep the shutout intact to that point. He did give up a one-out double, but followed that with a groundout and a three-pitch strikeout on a 93 MPH fastball to slam the door. Surprise may have felt better about this game if they had another Twins prospect to run out there, as in the ninth the only non-Twins reliever gave up three runs on five hits that made it interesting. Since you haven’t read about the prospect who got wild yet, you would be correct in assuming it didn’t go as well for Hackimer in Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Scorpions. Hackimer again followed Jay in this one, coming on for the seventh inning with the Surprise up 5-4. He retired the first batter of the inning before things went off the rails – but I’m not blaming the pitcher after looking hard at what transpired. Two walks book-ended a single to load the bases and it looked like Hackimer might get out unscathed as he got the second out with a big K. Unfortunately for him (and I suggest you check out the Gameday pitch locations), he appeared to continue to be squeezed by the home plate umpire and two more walks brought in two runs before he got the final out with another K. If you don’t want to investigate the link above, I counted nine pitches tracked inside the zone that were called balls by the umpire, and you could argue as many as 17 called balls (17!) were strike-worthy (half his total pitches). Most are borderline I’ll concede, but something is amiss when that many show up in one inning. Here’s the most egregious example, for quick reference: It’s quite amazing how many similar pitches like that were tracked, and is why only 13 of Hackimer’s 34 total pitches went for strikes in the outing. Maybe that ump doesn’t like submariners?! I really don’t know how to explain it beyond that and the result was unfortunate for Hackimer and his Saguaros team. Sean Miller: 2 games, 5-7, 2 R’s, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB (1); .346/.393/.385 (overall). If I told you Sean Miller was top 10 in the AFL in batting average after week 3, would you believe me? Well, I aint lyin’… Miller took advantage of his two starts on the week to pile up five hits in seven at-bats, raising his average to .346, which would rank 10th in the circuit if he had enough plate appearances. Batting ninth and playing second base in their 4-3 win over Salt River on Tuesday, Miller went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI to help turn his team’s lineup over. He may have gotten a little lucky, as both those hits were deflected by infielders, but you can’t argue with the results. His single in the fifth inning brought in a runner to make the score 2-0, and he followed that by stealing second base (his first SB of the AFL season) and scoring their third run of the frame. In Surprise’s 10-5 loss to Glendale on Thursday Miller really stood out, going 3-3 with a walk to reach base each time he stepped in the batter’s box. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance in the third inning, then singled in each of his final three at-bats. He drove in one in the fourth that put his team out front 2-0 before the Desert Dogs pulled away late. In the ninth after his third single, Miller scored along with Wade on a triple that accounted for their final tally of five runs in the loss. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com started his offseason review of Team Top 20 Prospects lists, with the Minnesota Twins. I have always loved how John looks at prospects and while they may be short on elite talent, there is a ton of depth. I’m not sure I’ll put him that quite that high on a list, but I love where Brent Rooker comes in. - Also on MinorLeagueBall.com, Wayne Cavadi takes a deeper look at three Twins prospects you should know. They are the AFL’s Tyler Jay (2018 will be big year for him), Gabriel Moya who saw action late with the MLB team, and Lewis Thorpe who is one of my personal cheeseballs. Thorpe was dominant when I watched him in Cedar Rapids and was a great interview, but injury and illness have delayed his timeline a full two years. Don’t forget about him! - Moya also was named a winner of one of MiLB.com’s MiLBY awards, for Top Relief Pitcher during the 2017 season. To recap just how dominant he was for two organizations in AA, Moya made 47 appearances, pitching 58.1 innings and allowing just 30 hits and 15 walks while piling up 87 strikeouts on the year. He went 6-1 and converted all 24 of his save opportunities, finishing the season with a 0.77 ERA and WHIP before holding his own in 6.1 innings with the Twins. - Check out a great read on Tyler Jay and what he went through this season with injuries. While thoracic outlet syndrome was often in the notes on why he was missing in action, we found out later in the season that wasn’t the case. Jay cites unclean mechanics, and in the most interesting note to me, perhaps the fact he put on 20 pounds coming into the season. - Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks at all the Twins prospects participating in the AFL, with even more details on Tyler Jay and how starting helped him gain confidence in his changeup and how he viewed being switched to the bullpen for the 2017 season. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!
  19. (This report includes the games played through 10/29) Week 3 of the AFL season saw all four of the Twins pitchers make their appearances in the same two games. Not sure if that was planned, but I wouldn’t complain if it was as it’s more fun to write about when they do! They pitched 4.0 scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over Salt River, and 4.2 innings in Friday’s 6-5 loss to Scottsdale. Despite one inning where one of them got wild (kind of…I’ll get to that…) in the latter, they were stellar with 8.2 total innings pitched, two earned runs allowed, and eleven strikeouts on the week. The hitters also had a good week all-around, but if you were to pick one who stood out the most, I’d reckon it wouldn’t be the one who did.To find out just how good each of the Minnesota Twins prospects performed in week 3 of the AFL season, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 K’s; 3.18 ERA (overall). In Tuesday’s win, Jay got the ball for the bottom of the sixth inning with his team up 3-0. He started his outing with a strikeout but then got himself into some trouble, surrendering a double and single that put runners on second and third. Instead of giving up any runs, he went right after the next two hitters and bulldogged it, striking them both out on three pitches with the K’s coming on a pair of 93 MPH swing-and-miss fastballs. His strikeout to start the frame also came on just three pitches, with an 83 MPH backdoor slider sending the hitter back to the dugout. 14 of his 17 pitches went for strikes in the outing. In the 6-5 loss to Scorpions on Friday, Jay again was summoned for the sixth inning, this time with his team down 4-2. The first batter reached on an infield error, but Jay retired the next three hitters for a scoreless inning. 13 of his 17 pitches in this one went for strikes as Jay continues to demonstrate his strong control after a tough season. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 4-14, 3 R’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; .250/.362/.375 (overall). In Monday’s 4-3 win against the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted second and played in right field. He drew a walk in the third inning but was retired on a double-play ball from the next batter. In the fifth, his single was the second of three consecutive to start the inning, and he was on third base when the Saguaros attempted a double steal. He was thrown out at home to end the inning, and the Surprise was only able to score one with the bases loaded and no outs. He finished this game 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Against the Rafters again on Tuesday, Wade batted fifth in the lineup and was in right field yet again. In typical fashion he picked up a single, scored a run, and drew another walk to finish his day 1-3. After singling in the fifth, Wade stole his first base in the AFL and then scored on a double for the first run of the game in the 4-3 win. In a 10-5 loss versus the Glendale Desert Dogs on Thursday, Wade finished 1-5 with a run scored batting second. His hit came in the first inning with a single and he didn’t reach base again until the ninth when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. The next batter tripled to bring him in for the Saguaros final run and a tally in his overall stat line. Wade finished his week on Friday with yet typical day. In the 6-5 loss he went 1-3 with a run scored and was also hit by a pitch to reach multiple times. That HBP loaded the bases for Surprise in the sixth inning, and the next hitter cleared them with a triple that put them out front 5-4. He singled in the top of the eighth, but was later thrown out at home representing the tying run as unfortunately this was the game where an appearance went awry for a Twins reliever. Chris Paul: 3 games, 3-10, 2 R’s, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 3 K’s; .306/.359/.443 (overall). Paul started his week 3 with a bang after winning the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday, as he slugged his first AFL home run in Monday’s win against Salt River. His solo shot led off the bottom of the fourth inning and tied the game at two. Paul was also hit by a pitch in this one, so he reached base multiple times. Paul was the only Twins prospect to appear in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over Glendale, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact, finishing 0-4 with a strikeout. In their loss on Friday to Scottsdale, Paul was back in the cleanup spot after batting fifth in the prior two games, and stood in at third base instead of first. He led off the top of the second inning with a double, but ended up stranded on third base. In the sixth inning he drew a walk and scored on the same triple as Wade that put Surprise out front briefly. He also singled in the eighth inning but was erased on a double play ball. Andrew Vasquez: two appearances, 2.2IP, 0 H’s, BB, K; 1.23 ERA (overall). Vasquez got the eighth inning in the Twins bullpen game on Tuesday, and threw 21 pitches (12 for strikes) in a scoreless inning. He did walk a batter, but no damage was done in a good appearance in the 4-3 win. In Friday’s 6-5 loss, Vasquez was summoned in the middle of the fourth inning as starter Zach Lovvorn ran into trouble. With two runs already in and runners on first and second, Vasquez came on and…hit his first batter to load the bases. But he still wasn’t the pitcher who gave up runs in this game, as he got the next hitter to line into an inning-ending double play. Back out for the fifth, Vasquez pitched a one-two-three inning, striking out the first batter of the frame to close out his week. Ryan Eades: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 4 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall). In Tuesday’s win Eades was the first Twins prospect called in from the bullpen for the fifth inning and was untouchable against the middle of the Rafters lineup, striking out all three hitters he faced. 10 of his 12 pitches went for strikes, and they included three swinging strikes and only a few pitches hitters managed to foul off. The K’s came on two high fastballs at 92 MPH, and a curveball in the dirt for a swing-and-miss. On Friday, Eades pitched the eighth inning, finishing the game for Surprise in the 6-5 loss. He got two quick outs on just four pitches, including a three-pitch K, before surrendering a single on a grounder through the left side of the infield. He got the next batter to line out, finishing the inning on just seven pitches (six for strikes) and punctuating an efficient and dominant week for the right-hander. Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 2 ER’s, 4 BB, 3 K’s; 4.50 ERA (overall). Hackimer came in the game after Jay on Tuesday, pitching the seventh inning in their win against Salt River. Like Eades and Jay before him, Hackimer delivered a scoreless frame to keep the shutout intact to that point. He did give up a one-out double, but followed that with a groundout and a three-pitch strikeout on a 93 MPH fastball to slam the door. Surprise may have felt better about this game if they had another Twins prospect to run out there, as in the ninth the only non-Twins reliever gave up three runs on five hits that made it interesting. Since you haven’t read about the prospect who got wild yet, you would be correct in assuming it didn’t go as well for Hackimer in Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Scorpions. Hackimer again followed Jay in this one, coming on for the seventh inning with the Surprise up 5-4. He retired the first batter of the inning before things went off the rails – but I’m not blaming the pitcher after looking hard at what transpired. Two walks book-ended a single to load the bases and it looked like Hackimer might get out unscathed as he got the second out with a big K. Unfortunately for him (and I suggest you check out the Gameday pitch locations), he appeared to continue to be squeezed by the home plate umpire and two more walks brought in two runs before he got the final out with another K. If you don’t want to investigate the link above, I counted nine pitches tracked inside the zone that were called balls by the umpire, and you could argue as many as 17 called balls (17!) were strike-worthy (half his total pitches). Most are borderline I’ll concede, but something is amiss when that many show up in one inning. Here’s the most egregious example, for quick reference: It’s quite amazing how many similar pitches like that were tracked, and is why only 13 of Hackimer’s 34 total pitches went for strikes in the outing. Maybe that ump doesn’t like submariners?! I really don’t know how to explain it beyond that and the result was unfortunate for Hackimer and his Saguaros team. Sean Miller: 2 games, 5-7, 2 R’s, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB (1); .346/.393/.385 (overall). If I told you Sean Miller was top 10 in the AFL in batting average after week 3, would you believe me? Well, I aint lyin’… Miller took advantage of his two starts on the week to pile up five hits in seven at-bats, raising his average to .346, which would rank 10th in the circuit if he had enough plate appearances. Batting ninth and playing second base in their 4-3 win over Salt River on Tuesday, Miller went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI to help turn his team’s lineup over. He may have gotten a little lucky, as both those hits were deflected by infielders, but you can’t argue with the results. His single in the fifth inning brought in a runner to make the score 2-0, and he followed that by stealing second base (his first SB of the AFL season) and scoring their third run of the frame. In Surprise’s 10-5 loss to Glendale on Thursday Miller really stood out, going 3-3 with a walk to reach base each time he stepped in the batter’s box. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance in the third inning, then singled in each of his final three at-bats. He drove in one in the fourth that put his team out front 2-0 before the Desert Dogs pulled away late. In the ninth after his third single, Miller scored along with Wade on a triple that accounted for their final tally of five runs in the loss. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com started his offseason review of Team Top 20 Prospects lists, with the Minnesota Twins. I have always loved how John looks at prospects and while they may be short on elite talent, there is a ton of depth. I’m not sure I’ll put him that quite that high on a list, but I love where Brent Rooker comes in. - Also on MinorLeagueBall.com, Wayne Cavadi takes a deeper look at three Twins prospects you should know. They are the AFL’s Tyler Jay (2018 will be big year for him), Gabriel Moya who saw action late with the MLB team, and Lewis Thorpe who is one of my personal cheeseballs. Thorpe was dominant when I watched him in Cedar Rapids and was a great interview, but injury and illness have delayed his timeline a full two years. Don’t forget about him! - Moya also was named a winner of one of MiLB.com’s MiLBY awards, for Top Relief Pitcher during the 2017 season. To recap just how dominant he was for two organizations in AA, Moya made 47 appearances, pitching 58.1 innings and allowing just 30 hits and 15 walks while piling up 87 strikeouts on the year. He went 6-1 and converted all 24 of his save opportunities, finishing the season with a 0.77 ERA and WHIP before holding his own in 6.1 innings with the Twins. - Check out a great read on Tyler Jay and what he went through this season with injuries. While thoracic outlet syndrome was often in the notes on why he was missing in action, we found out later in the season that wasn’t the case. Jay cites unclean mechanics, and in the most interesting note to me, perhaps the fact he put on 20 pounds coming into the season. - Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks at all the Twins prospects participating in the AFL, with even more details on Tyler Jay and how starting helped him gain confidence in his changeup and how he viewed being switched to the bullpen for the 2017 season. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week! Click here to view the article
  20. So tonight is the first installment. Here are my choices for Twins prospects 41-50. Be sure to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments after you’ve had a chance to read through this list. #50 LHP Jovani Moran The 20-year-old southpaw was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of Puerto Rico. He missed the 2016 season due to bone spurs in his elbow, but he had those cleaned up and went to Elizabethton in 2017. He was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. In 24.2 innings, he walked six and struck out 45 (16.4 K/9). That didn’t include the playoffs where he starred for the Appy League champs. Will he remain in the bullpen? That’s to be determined. As E-Twins manager Ray Smith told Twins Daily, ““We didn’t want to force anything with Jovani due to his arm issues last year. I’ve never seen him being utilized in a starting role, but with this ‘stuff’ being so good, it might turn out to be his role once it’s decided that his arm will continue to be 100%”” #49 LHP Andrew Vasquez Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmost College where he teamed with Hector Lujan. The left-hander split his 2017 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He combined to post a 2.02 ERA. In his 58 innings, he walked 20 and struck out 85 batters. While he works in the low-90s, he’s got a lot of movement on his fastball and has a terrific slider that gets a lot of swings and misses. (Get to know Andrew Vasquez) #48 Alex Robinson There are a lot of quality relief pitcher prospects in the Twins system, and when it comes to pure ceiling, Robinson might be right at the top. The left-hander consistently hits 97-98 mph with his fastball and has a devastating slider. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 out of Maryland, but he really fought his control. He spent 2015 and 2016 in Elizabethton where he struck out 67 batters in 45 innings, but he also walked 50! He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids and struck out 51 and walked 15 and struck out 51. He moved up to Ft. Myers and in 17.1 innings, he walked 13 and struck out 27. He turned 23 in August, so it is wise for the Twins to be as patient as necessary to maximize his immense talent. #47 Tom Hackimer Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2016 out of St. Johns. The side-winding right-hander profiles pretty similarly to Twins rookie of the year Trevor Hildenberger. He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids where he posted a 1.50 ERA and a miniscule 0.58 WHIP in 24 innings. He then worked 37.1 innings in Ft. Myers where he posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Combined, he walked 22 and struck out 71 batters in 61.1 innings. He is now pitching the Arizona Fall League. (Get to know Tom Hackimer, and from last week, Catch Up with him in Arizona) #46 OF Jaylin Davis Jaylin Davis was the Twins 24th-round pick in 2015 out of Appalachian State. He ended the 2016 season with 52 games in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began his 2017 season as well. In 66 games for the Kernels, he hit .267/.316/.486 (.802) with 13 doubles and 12 home runs. After helping the team to a first half playoff berth, he was promoted up to Ft. Myers where he played in 59 games. He struggled, hitting just .237 with three home runs. But his power is legit. He’s a good athlete who took to playing right field in 2017. (Get to know Jaylin) #45 JT Chargois If you were like me, you were hoping that the 2012 second-round pick would not be on this list. In fact, I had hopes that he would be the Twins closer by midseason. Instead, he fought elbow issues throughout the entire season and did not pitch outside of two games in late April in Rochester. His mid-to-upper 90s fastball, slider, and performance last September make him incredibly intriguing, and he should probably be higher on this list. He’ll turn 27 in December. (Get to know JT.) #44 Luke Bard Bard was the Twins second supplemental first-round pick in 2012 out of Georgia Tech. He has really only been healthy the last two seasons. In 2016, he was known to have one of the top spin rates in the Twins system. In 2017, he was a strikeout machine. In 52.1 innings at Chattanooga, he walked 20 and struck out 78 (13.4 K/9). He moved up to Rochester where he walked four and struck out 21 batters in 13 innings (14.5 K/9). He does struggle with control and command at times, but the soon-to-be-27-year-old should be considered for a 40-man roster spot in November. #43 OF Jean-Carlos Arias Arias returned to the GCL in 2017 after posting a mere .531 OPS there in 2016. He broke out, hitting .298/.359/.476 (.835) with seven doubles, four triples and five home runs. He also stole ten bases. Arias has a lot of tools. He’s got speed and a strong arm. He has the potential to hit for some average, but he also has the potential to grow and add more power. Arias will turn 20 in January and should move up to Elizabethton in 2018. #42 Trey Cabbage Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He’s missed some time the last couple of years with injury. He returned to Elizabethton to start the Appy League season, but after just 13 games, he was promoted to the Kernels where he played left field and third base. A left-hander with a smooth swing, the 20-year-old is a terrific athlete, big and strong, with a lot of power potential. He’ll have to work to put the ball in play more, but as he grows, the talent is there to be quite good. (Get to know Trey, and Catch Up with him) #41 RHP Tyler Benninghoff 20-year-old Benninghoff was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Missouri. Almost immediately after signing, he underwent Tommy John surgery. He worked hard to rehab and returned to the GCL mound for his professional debut. He worked four innings in four outings. Benninghoff likely would have been a second or third round pick had he been healthy. He’s blessed with a strong arm and good offspeed pitches. So this ranking is fully based on projection. Hopefully he’ll be fully recovered and be able to get on the mound consistently in 2018. (Get to know Tyler) So there you have the first installment of my Top 50 Twins Prospects. That was prospects 41-50. In the coming days, the countdown will continue. Feel free to leave any questions or comments that you may have. By the way, there is a complete Organizational Depth chart in the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, along with much more. To pre-order your copy, click on the banner below. (And as a reminder, there's no reason to not download it since you get to name your price.)
  21. As we await the end of the World Series, as well as the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook being available for download, I thought it would be fun to start on my preliminary 2018 Minnesota Twins Top 50 prospect list. As Cody mentioned in his article tonight, he and I, along with Tom and Jeremy, are diving heavily into the 2018 Twins Prospect Handbook. I like to do this preliminary ranking and then see how it changes after doing a ton of research and talking to several people.So tonight is the first installment. Here are my choices for Twins prospects 41-50. Be sure to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments after you’ve had a chance to read through this list. #50 LHP Jovani Moran The 20-year-old southpaw was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of Puerto Rico. He missed the 2016 season due to bone spurs in his elbow, but he had those cleaned up and went to Elizabethton in 2017. He was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. In 24.2 innings, he walked six and struck out 45 (16.4 K/9). That didn’t include the playoffs where he starred for the Appy League champs. Will he remain in the bullpen? That’s to be determined. As E-Twins manager Ray Smith told Twins Daily, ““We didn’t want to force anything with Jovani due to his arm issues last year. I’ve never seen him being utilized in a starting role, but with this ‘stuff’ being so good, it might turn out to be his role once it’s decided that his arm will continue to be 100%”” #49 LHP Andrew Vasquez Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmost College where he teamed with Hector Lujan. The left-hander split his 2017 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He combined to post a 2.02 ERA. In his 58 innings, he walked 20 and struck out 85 batters. While he works in the low-90s, he’s got a lot of movement on his fastball and has a terrific slider that gets a lot of swings and misses. (Get to know Andrew Vasquez) #48 Alex Robinson There are a lot of quality relief pitcher prospects in the Twins system, and when it comes to pure ceiling, Robinson might be right at the top. The left-hander consistently hits 97-98 mph with his fastball and has a devastating slider. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 out of Maryland, but he really fought his control. He spent 2015 and 2016 in Elizabethton where he struck out 67 batters in 45 innings, but he also walked 50! He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids and struck out 51 and walked 15 and struck out 51. He moved up to Ft. Myers and in 17.1 innings, he walked 13 and struck out 27. He turned 23 in August, so it is wise for the Twins to be as patient as necessary to maximize his immense talent. #47 Tom Hackimer Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2016 out of St. Johns. The side-winding right-hander profiles pretty similarly to Twins rookie of the year Trevor Hildenberger. He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids where he posted a 1.50 ERA and a miniscule 0.58 WHIP in 24 innings. He then worked 37.1 innings in Ft. Myers where he posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Combined, he walked 22 and struck out 71 batters in 61.1 innings. He is now pitching the Arizona Fall League. (Get to know Tom Hackimer, and from last week, Catch Up with him in Arizona) #46 OF Jaylin Davis Jaylin Davis was the Twins 24th-round pick in 2015 out of Appalachian State. He ended the 2016 season with 52 games in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began his 2017 season as well. In 66 games for the Kernels, he hit .267/.316/.486 (.802) with 13 doubles and 12 home runs. After helping the team to a first half playoff berth, he was promoted up to Ft. Myers where he played in 59 games. He struggled, hitting just .237 with three home runs. But his power is legit. He’s a good athlete who took to playing right field in 2017. (Get to know Jaylin) #45 JT Chargois If you were like me, you were hoping that the 2012 second-round pick would not be on this list. In fact, I had hopes that he would be the Twins closer by midseason. Instead, he fought elbow issues throughout the entire season and did not pitch outside of two games in late April in Rochester. His mid-to-upper 90s fastball, slider, and performance last September make him incredibly intriguing, and he should probably be higher on this list. He’ll turn 27 in December. (Get to know JT.) #44 Luke Bard Bard was the Twins second supplemental first-round pick in 2012 out of Georgia Tech. He has really only been healthy the last two seasons. In 2016, he was known to have one of the top spin rates in the Twins system. In 2017, he was a strikeout machine. In 52.1 innings at Chattanooga, he walked 20 and struck out 78 (13.4 K/9). He moved up to Rochester where he walked four and struck out 21 batters in 13 innings (14.5 K/9). He does struggle with control and command at times, but the soon-to-be-27-year-old should be considered for a 40-man roster spot in November. #43 OF Jean-Carlos Arias Arias returned to the GCL in 2017 after posting a mere .531 OPS there in 2016. He broke out, hitting .298/.359/.476 (.835) with seven doubles, four triples and five home runs. He also stole ten bases. Arias has a lot of tools. He’s got speed and a strong arm. He has the potential to hit for some average, but he also has the potential to grow and add more power. Arias will turn 20 in January and should move up to Elizabethton in 2018. #42 Trey Cabbage Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He’s missed some time the last couple of years with injury. He returned to Elizabethton to start the Appy League season, but after just 13 games, he was promoted to the Kernels where he played left field and third base. A left-hander with a smooth swing, the 20-year-old is a terrific athlete, big and strong, with a lot of power potential. He’ll have to work to put the ball in play more, but as he grows, the talent is there to be quite good. (Get to know Trey, and Catch Up with him) #41 RHP Tyler Benninghoff 20-year-old Benninghoff was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Missouri. Almost immediately after signing, he underwent Tommy John surgery. He worked hard to rehab and returned to the GCL mound for his professional debut. He worked four innings in four outings. Benninghoff likely would have been a second or third round pick had he been healthy. He’s blessed with a strong arm and good offspeed pitches. So this ranking is fully based on projection. Hopefully he’ll be fully recovered and be able to get on the mound consistently in 2018. (Get to know Tyler) So there you have the first installment of my Top 50 Twins Prospects. That was prospects 41-50. In the coming days, the countdown will continue. Feel free to leave any questions or comments that you may have. By the way, there is a complete Organizational Depth chart in the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, along with much more. To pre-order your copy, click on the banner below. (And as a reminder, there's no reason to not download it since you get to name your price.) Click here to view the article
  22. Recently Twins Daily chatted with Hackimer to get caught up on his season and his Arizona Fall League goals. Tom Hackimer began this season with 16 appearances in Cedar Rapids. He went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP. He walked just 1.1 per nine while striking out 10.5 per nine in 24.0 innings. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he worked 37.1 innings over 27 games. He posted an ERA of 1.93 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. His walk rate jumped to 4.5 per nine while his strikeout rate stayed high at 10.4 per nine innings. Hackimer saw success at both levels, but he also saw that there were noticeable differences between the Midwest League and the Florida State League. Hackimer said, “The hitters were definitely better. I noticed I really needed to mix offspeed in there a little more. In Cedar Rapids, I was throwing a lot of fastballs.” He continued, explaining that it was a lesson learned quickly, “My first outing when I got up to High-A, I was doing the same thing and it didn’t go quite as well. So I realized that I had to mix it up a little more and really make sure, especially for me as a sidearmer, I had to make sure I could get inside on lefties so they couldn’t just dive out over the plate.” Hackimer played for the Kernels in the first half when they earned their playoff berth. He was also a big part of the Miracle second-half run that led them to the playoffs. Hackimer acknowledged, “It’s always a lot more fun when you’re winning, and a lot more exciting that way.” But a lot of players are amazed by what their first full season of minor league ball can do to their bodies. One Twins player told me recently that he’s learned over time when to start working out, throwing, or even just showing up to spring training to help him get through a season. That took the player several years to figure out. For Hackimer, he was happy with how his first season went physically. “It actually held up better than I thought I would. Toward the end, I’d get a lot more tired, but I learned how to get into a good routine and kind of pare down some of the stuff that I do throughout the season. A little bit of a heavier workload toward the begin and then I lessened what I do in the middle and at the end to make sure that I got to the finish line strong.” And just as his season was coming to an end, Hackimer found out that his season was not complete, at least not quite yet. Late in the season, he found out that he would get the opportunity to represent the Twins in the Arizona Fall League. When invited, there was no question in his mind of whether or not he’d accept the invitation. “It was definitely a for sure thing for me. The way I found out. We were in Clearwater when I was with Ft. Myers. We had just come in from batting practice. Everyone was standing around the pregame spread. Doug Mientkiewicz came over and said, ‘Hey, come into my office and talk to me when you’re done eating.’” Hackimer continued, “I was a little excited, nervous, didn’t know what was happening. But I went in there, and he was like, ‘You got picked to go to the Fall League. Congratulations!’ It was nice. It was exciting.” There are many reasons to send players to the Fall League. Sometimes it is to make up for innings or at bats lost. Sometimes it is to push a player a bit and give them the opportunity to compete against some really good competition. Individually, they all have some goals that they want to accomplish in the season’s seven weeks. Hackimer noted, “One of my goals was to really work on mixing pitches better. I sort of get into a rut of doing that same thing. I started to develop a changeup, but I haven’t been using it a lot. That was one of the things that in spring training, I talked to Trevor Hildenberger about, and that’s obviously his bread and butter, his changeup. So I really wanted to take this opportunity to try to develop that and see where it’s at as a pitch.” Earlier this week, Hackimer worked an inning in a Fall League game. “These guys can hit. I got a rude awakening yesterday (Tuesday). I went out and gave up a few quick hits on pitches that normally I think I would have been OK with throwing, but they were either in the wrong spot or in the wrong sequence. So that’s stuff I have to go back and look at.” In that outing, Hackimer limited the damage to just one run in the inning. “Double play ball. Pitcher’s best friend.” Hackimer had a two-inning outing on Thursday in which he was perfect. As you’ve seen, Tom Hackimer throws from the side. In a lot of ways, he is similar to Twins rookie Trevor Hildenberger. They were both drafted as four-year college relievers. Their first full seasons were spent between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, and they each played in the Arizona Fall League that same season. Last fall, they had their first interaction. “Back when I was in Instructs last year, I had a ten minute conversation with him about his change up. He’s been very kind, very helpful the whole way through.” This spring, the two worked and talked some together. According to Hackimer, “I threw with him once in spring training. I always made sure when he was throwing a bullpen that I hung around to watch it if I could.” When the Twins season ended and they were preparing to play the Yankees in New York, Hackimer received an unexpected message. “One of the things that really impressed me, right before the Wild Card game, maybe a day before, Trevor actually reached out to me to wish me well in the Fall League.” When the Fall League is over, Hackimer will head home and get some rest. No big plans for the offseason. “I didn’t really have any plans, but the potential to come here knocked out any of the plans I might have had. But it’s for a good reason, so I can live with that.” When he was drafted, many thought that Hackimer could be a fast-mover. He could start the 2018 season in AA Chattanooga and get up to AAA Rochester. Who knows, maybe even a late-season call up is possible.
  23. Before spring training, Twins Daily caught up with right-handed reliever Tom Hackimer for a Get to Know Him Q&A. He was preparing for the 2017 season, his first full-season as a professional. Hackimer had been the Twins 4th round pick after playing at St. John’s University in New York. The 23-year-old is currently in Arizona representing the Twins in the Arizona Fall League where he has given up one run over four innings.Recently Twins Daily chatted with Hackimer to get caught up on his season and his Arizona Fall League goals. Tom Hackimer began this season with 16 appearances in Cedar Rapids. He went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP. He walked just 1.1 per nine while striking out 10.5 per nine in 24.0 innings. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he worked 37.1 innings over 27 games. He posted an ERA of 1.93 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. His walk rate jumped to 4.5 per nine while his strikeout rate stayed high at 10.4 per nine innings. Hackimer saw success at both levels, but he also saw that there were noticeable differences between the Midwest League and the Florida State League. Hackimer said, “The hitters were definitely better. I noticed I really needed to mix offspeed in there a little more. In Cedar Rapids, I was throwing a lot of fastballs.” He continued, explaining that it was a lesson learned quickly, “My first outing when I got up to High-A, I was doing the same thing and it didn’t go quite as well. So I realized that I had to mix it up a little more and really make sure, especially for me as a sidearmer, I had to make sure I could get inside on lefties so they couldn’t just dive out over the plate.” Hackimer played for the Kernels in the first half when they earned their playoff berth. He was also a big part of the Miracle second-half run that led them to the playoffs. Hackimer acknowledged, “It’s always a lot more fun when you’re winning, and a lot more exciting that way.” But a lot of players are amazed by what their first full season of minor league ball can do to their bodies. One Twins player told me recently that he’s learned over time when to start working out, throwing, or even just showing up to spring training to help him get through a season. That took the player several years to figure out. For Hackimer, he was happy with how his first season went physically. “It actually held up better than I thought I would. Toward the end, I’d get a lot more tired, but I learned how to get into a good routine and kind of pare down some of the stuff that I do throughout the season. A little bit of a heavier workload toward the begin and then I lessened what I do in the middle and at the end to make sure that I got to the finish line strong.” And just as his season was coming to an end, Hackimer found out that his season was not complete, at least not quite yet. Late in the season, he found out that he would get the opportunity to represent the Twins in the Arizona Fall League. When invited, there was no question in his mind of whether or not he’d accept the invitation. “It was definitely a for sure thing for me. The way I found out. We were in Clearwater when I was with Ft. Myers. We had just come in from batting practice. Everyone was standing around the pregame spread. Doug Mientkiewicz came over and said, ‘Hey, come into my office and talk to me when you’re done eating.’” Hackimer continued, “I was a little excited, nervous, didn’t know what was happening. But I went in there, and he was like, ‘You got picked to go to the Fall League. Congratulations!’ It was nice. It was exciting.” There are many reasons to send players to the Fall League. Sometimes it is to make up for innings or at bats lost. Sometimes it is to push a player a bit and give them the opportunity to compete against some really good competition. Individually, they all have some goals that they want to accomplish in the season’s seven weeks. Hackimer noted, “One of my goals was to really work on mixing pitches better. I sort of get into a rut of doing that same thing. I started to develop a changeup, but I haven’t been using it a lot. That was one of the things that in spring training, I talked to Trevor Hildenberger about, and that’s obviously his bread and butter, his changeup. So I really wanted to take this opportunity to try to develop that and see where it’s at as a pitch.” Earlier this week, Hackimer worked an inning in a Fall League game. “These guys can hit. I got a rude awakening yesterday (Tuesday). I went out and gave up a few quick hits on pitches that normally I think I would have been OK with throwing, but they were either in the wrong spot or in the wrong sequence. So that’s stuff I have to go back and look at.” In that outing, Hackimer limited the damage to just one run in the inning. “Double play ball. Pitcher’s best friend.” Hackimer had a two-inning outing on Thursday in which he was perfect. As you’ve seen, Tom Hackimer throws from the side. In a lot of ways, he is similar to Twins rookie Trevor Hildenberger. They were both drafted as four-year college relievers. Their first full seasons were spent between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, and they each played in the Arizona Fall League that same season. Last fall, they had their first interaction. “Back when I was in Instructs last year, I had a ten minute conversation with him about his change up. He’s been very kind, very helpful the whole way through.” This spring, the two worked and talked some together. According to Hackimer, “I threw with him once in spring training. I always made sure when he was throwing a bullpen that I hung around to watch it if I could.” When the Twins season ended and they were preparing to play the Yankees in New York, Hackimer received an unexpected message. “One of the things that really impressed me, right before the Wild Card game, maybe a day before, Trevor actually reached out to me to wish me well in the Fall League.” When the Fall League is over, Hackimer will head home and get some rest. No big plans for the offseason. “I didn’t really have any plans, but the potential to come here knocked out any of the plans I might have had. But it’s for a good reason, so I can live with that.” When he was drafted, many thought that Hackimer could be a fast-mover. He could start the 2018 season in AA Chattanooga and get up to AAA Rochester. Who knows, maybe even a late-season call up is possible. Click here to view the article
  24. With that, let’s check out how Twins prospects fared in the first week of the 2017 AFL season! (links provided to each player’s overall stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K’s. Jay made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, pitching in the season opener against the Salt River Rafters on Tuesday the 10th, and the fourth inning on Friday the 13th versus the Glendale Desert Dogs. Both games were losses for the Saguaros, but not because of Jay’s performance. Against the Rafters on Tuesday, Jay came out to start the 7th inning and needed just 10 pitches to set the 9-1-2 hitters down in order. The first two outs came on strikeouts, both of the looking variety, before Jay fielded a bunt attempt for the final out on his first pitch to the number two hitter in the Salt River lineup. Covering the AFL for ESPN, Keith Law noted that Jay “looked electric” in the outing and wouldn’t close the door on him starting in the future. Against Glendale on Friday, Jay came on for the start of the fourth inning with his squad already down 4-1. It looked like it would get worse than that after the first batter doubled to right field and advanced to third on a fielding error on his first pitch of the inning. But on a 3-2 pitch to the next hitter Jay induced a groundball to third base and the runner was nabbed at home for the inning’s first out. Jay then got a flyout for the second out before picking up another backwards K to end the frame. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 2-14, R, 2B, RBI, 3 BB, 2 K’s. Wade played in four of the Saguaros five games during the week, making the start in right field for three of them and DH-ing in the fourth. He batted sixth in the lineup in three of those games, and was in the two-hole for the other. In the season opener, Wade picked up his first AFL hit in the bottom of the eighth inning when he doubled to center field with one out. At that point he represented the tying runner for Surprise, but that was as far as he would get and they fell to Salt River 4-3. The Saguaros would get back at the Rafters the next day in 3-1 win, and Wade drew his first walk of the AFL season in his first at-bat of the game. His next three plate appearances resulted in a sharp groundout to second, a comebacker to the pitcher, and a fly out to center field as he finished that one 0-3. On Thursday as the DH, Wade was 0-4 with a strikeout, a fly out to center, and two ground balls to the right side in an 8-2 loss to Glendale. Of note in this one, is Wade saw just eight pitches in those at-bats, which was very uncharacteristic for such a patient hitter. He regrouped on Saturday in an 11-1 drumming of the Scottsdale Scorpions that improved their record as a team in the first week to 2-3. In six plate appearances in the two-hole, Wade drew two walks and saw a total of 26 pitches. His first RBI in the AFL came in the seventh inning for Surprise, when he drew a bases loaded walk for their seventh and final run of the frame. He had singled earlier in the same inning (on the first pitch of that at bat, ironically) and scored a run. Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-12, 2 R’s, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, K. Playing first base for Surprise, Paul saw action in three games during the season’s first week, and batted cleanup in each. In the opening game against Salt River, Wade racked up three singles in four at-bats with RBI’s coming in the first and seventh innings. Had the runner in front of him in the seventh not been thrown out at third for final out on that hit, the Saguaros would have had at least one more at bat with a runner in scoring position to try and tie the game. In Thursday’s tilt against Glendale, Paul was 0-4 but the rest of his team didn’t fare much better in the 8-2 loss. They didn’t score a run until the eighth inning and that was the result of a hit-by-pitch, three walks, a throwing error, and a passed ball. Paul did reach base in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice. Paul got back on the hit-parade on Friday in the Saguaros 7-6 loss to Glendale. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, RBI, and a walk in five plate appearances. His double in the seventh inning closed the Desert Dogs lead to 6-4, and he would later score to bring his team within one. In the bottom of the ninth he drew a two-out walk to put the tying runner on base. He was replaced by a pinch runner that made it all the way to third base, but wasn’t able to scamper the final 90 feet. Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 3 K’s. Like Jay, Vasquez also made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, and made short work of his competition in the same games as his counterpart. He directly followed Jay for the eighth inning in the season opening loss against Salt River. Of note during his 2017 campaign with Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers, is Vasquez did not allow a single extra-base-hit to a left-handed hitter the entire season (75 plate appearances). It’s notable here as the third hitter he faced in his AFL debut was a lefty, and they connected for a double on an 0-1 pitch. Vasquez recovered from that and picked up his second strikeout of the Fall season to end the inning. On Friday Vasquez was the first reliever summoned from the Surprise bullpen in the third inning with the score 4-1 Glendale. He needed just nine pitches in a one-two-three frame and added another K to his early season AFL total. Ryan Eades: 2 appearances (1-0), 2.0IP, 2 H’s, R (unearned), BB, K. Unlike Jay and Vasquez, the two appearances Eades made during the season’s first week came in victories. He even picked up the first pitching win of the season for his Saguaros team. That was on Wednesday in their 3-1 win over Salt River. He came on for the bottom of the fourth inning with the game still tied at zero and pitched a scoreless frame, walking one. His teammates went on to score two in the top of the fifth which put him in line to be credited with that win. On Saturday in their 11-1 win against Scottsdale, Eades pitched the eighth inning. The Scorpions one run was scored with him on the mound, but it was unearned due to a missed-catch error by Eades as he went to cover first base. That runner later scored on a double but Eades also picked up his first AFL strikeout. Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, BB, K. The sidewinding righty got in just one game in the first week of the AFL season, and it came on Thursday against Glendale. He was the first reliever in the game for Surprise, coming on for the bottom of the fourth inning. He struck out the first batter he faced in his debut and then got a groundout for the first two outs before he had a little trouble. He walked a batter and then gave up a single through the middle that put runners on the corners before coaxing an easy fly ball for the third out and a scoreless AFL inauguration. Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-9, 2 R’s, RBI, 3 K’s. Miller saw action in two games on the week, playing 2B in each. Batting 2nd in the lineup in Wednesday’s 3-1 win for his AFL debut, Miller went 0-4 and struck out twice. On defense he made every play that came his way, including three putouts and three assists. Against Scottsdale on Saturday, Miller batted eighth in the lineup and scored the first run of the game in the third inning after he reached base on a throwing error from the Scorpions shortstop. In the seven run seventh inning, Miller picked up his first AFL hit and RBI with a single, and would later score his second run of the game on the walk to LaMonte Wade. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - In a front office move that I’m extremely excited for, the Minnesota Twins hired Baseball America editor John Manuel to work in their pro scouting department. While I’m disappointed I won’t be able to interact with him in the same way on Twitter and elsewher to talk about prospects, I couldn’t be happier that he’s joining our favorite team! - Despite the fact he played in only half the games as most everyone after being drafted in June of this year, Brent Rooker was named MLBPipeline.com’s Minnesota Twins Hitting Prospect of the year. Stephen Gonsalves was is also recognized as their Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Here’s to hoping we see both at Target Field during the 2018 season! - In the season opener for Surprise, four Twins prospects made an impact on the game. - While MiLB.com lists the Saguaros roster dead last in “toolshed power rankings,” Tyler Jay is singled out as their Wild Card due his potential for increased optimism or head scratching heading into the 2018 season depending on his AFL performance. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!
  25. (This report includes the games played through 10/15) Minnesota Twins prospects in the Arizona Fall League are playing on the roster of the Surprise Saguaros for the second season in a row, and in the first week of the season their squad managed a 2-3 record. They lost a couple of close games where they had chances to tie late, with Twins prospects doing their part, but teammates weren’t able to deliver the finishing blows. Chris Paul racked up hits in two of his three games, and left-handed relievers Tyler Jay and Andrew Vasquez passed their first tests out in the desert. It’s actually kind of hard to believe what Vasquez did, but I’ll elaborate on that in his recap…With that, let’s check out how Twins prospects fared in the first week of the 2017 AFL season! (links provided to each player’s overall stats by clicking their name) Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K’s. Jay made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, pitching in the season opener against the Salt River Rafters on Tuesday the 10th, and the fourth inning on Friday the 13th versus the Glendale Desert Dogs. Both games were losses for the Saguaros, but not because of Jay’s performance. Against the Rafters on Tuesday, Jay came out to start the 7th inning and needed just 10 pitches to set the 9-1-2 hitters down in order. The first two outs came on strikeouts, both of the looking variety, before Jay fielded a bunt attempt for the final out on his first pitch to the number two hitter in the Salt River lineup. Covering the AFL for ESPN, Keith Law noted that Jay “looked electric” in the outing and wouldn’t close the door on him starting in the future. Against Glendale on Friday, Jay came on for the start of the fourth inning with his squad already down 4-1. It looked like it would get worse than that after the first batter doubled to right field and advanced to third on a fielding error on his first pitch of the inning. But on a 3-2 pitch to the next hitter Jay induced a groundball to third base and the runner was nabbed at home for the inning’s first out. Jay then got a flyout for the second out before picking up another backwards K to end the frame. LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 2-14, R, 2B, RBI, 3 BB, 2 K’s. Wade played in four of the Saguaros five games during the week, making the start in right field for three of them and DH-ing in the fourth. He batted sixth in the lineup in three of those games, and was in the two-hole for the other. In the season opener, Wade picked up his first AFL hit in the bottom of the eighth inning when he doubled to center field with one out. At that point he represented the tying runner for Surprise, but that was as far as he would get and they fell to Salt River 4-3. The Saguaros would get back at the Rafters the next day in 3-1 win, and Wade drew his first walk of the AFL season in his first at-bat of the game. His next three plate appearances resulted in a sharp groundout to second, a comebacker to the pitcher, and a fly out to center field as he finished that one 0-3. On Thursday as the DH, Wade was 0-4 with a strikeout, a fly out to center, and two ground balls to the right side in an 8-2 loss to Glendale. Of note in this one, is Wade saw just eight pitches in those at-bats, which was very uncharacteristic for such a patient hitter. He regrouped on Saturday in an 11-1 drumming of the Scottsdale Scorpions that improved their record as a team in the first week to 2-3. In six plate appearances in the two-hole, Wade drew two walks and saw a total of 26 pitches. His first RBI in the AFL came in the seventh inning for Surprise, when he drew a bases loaded walk for their seventh and final run of the frame. He had singled earlier in the same inning (on the first pitch of that at bat, ironically) and scored a run. Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-12, 2 R’s, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, K. Playing first base for Surprise, Paul saw action in three games during the season’s first week, and batted cleanup in each. In the opening game against Salt River, Wade racked up three singles in four at-bats with RBI’s coming in the first and seventh innings. Had the runner in front of him in the seventh not been thrown out at third for final out on that hit, the Saguaros would have had at least one more at bat with a runner in scoring position to try and tie the game. In Thursday’s tilt against Glendale, Paul was 0-4 but the rest of his team didn’t fare much better in the 8-2 loss. They didn’t score a run until the eighth inning and that was the result of a hit-by-pitch, three walks, a throwing error, and a passed ball. Paul did reach base in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice. Paul got back on the hit-parade on Friday in the Saguaros 7-6 loss to Glendale. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, RBI, and a walk in five plate appearances. His double in the seventh inning closed the Desert Dogs lead to 6-4, and he would later score to bring his team within one. In the bottom of the ninth he drew a two-out walk to put the tying runner on base. He was replaced by a pinch runner that made it all the way to third base, but wasn’t able to scamper the final 90 feet. Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 3 K’s. Like Jay, Vasquez also made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, and made short work of his competition in the same games as his counterpart. He directly followed Jay for the eighth inning in the season opening loss against Salt River. Of note during his 2017 campaign with Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers, is Vasquez did not allow a single extra-base-hit to a left-handed hitter the entire season (75 plate appearances). It’s notable here as the third hitter he faced in his AFL debut was a lefty, and they connected for a double on an 0-1 pitch. Vasquez recovered from that and picked up his second strikeout of the Fall season to end the inning. On Friday Vasquez was the first reliever summoned from the Surprise bullpen in the third inning with the score 4-1 Glendale. He needed just nine pitches in a one-two-three frame and added another K to his early season AFL total. Ryan Eades: 2 appearances (1-0), 2.0IP, 2 H’s, R (unearned), BB, K. Unlike Jay and Vasquez, the two appearances Eades made during the season’s first week came in victories. He even picked up the first pitching win of the season for his Saguaros team. That was on Wednesday in their 3-1 win over Salt River. He came on for the bottom of the fourth inning with the game still tied at zero and pitched a scoreless frame, walking one. His teammates went on to score two in the top of the fifth which put him in line to be credited with that win. On Saturday in their 11-1 win against Scottsdale, Eades pitched the eighth inning. The Scorpions one run was scored with him on the mound, but it was unearned due to a missed-catch error by Eades as he went to cover first base. That runner later scored on a double but Eades also picked up his first AFL strikeout. Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, BB, K. The sidewinding righty got in just one game in the first week of the AFL season, and it came on Thursday against Glendale. He was the first reliever in the game for Surprise, coming on for the bottom of the fourth inning. He struck out the first batter he faced in his debut and then got a groundout for the first two outs before he had a little trouble. He walked a batter and then gave up a single through the middle that put runners on the corners before coaxing an easy fly ball for the third out and a scoreless AFL inauguration. Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-9, 2 R’s, RBI, 3 K’s. Miller saw action in two games on the week, playing 2B in each. Batting 2nd in the lineup in Wednesday’s 3-1 win for his AFL debut, Miller went 0-4 and struck out twice. On defense he made every play that came his way, including three putouts and three assists. Against Scottsdale on Saturday, Miller batted eighth in the lineup and scored the first run of the game in the third inning after he reached base on a throwing error from the Scorpions shortstop. In the seven run seventh inning, Miller picked up his first AFL hit and RBI with a single, and would later score his second run of the game on the walk to LaMonte Wade. Other AFL/Minor League Links: - In a front office move that I’m extremely excited for, the Minnesota Twins hired Baseball America editor John Manuel to work in their pro scouting department. While I’m disappointed I won’t be able to interact with him in the same way on Twitter and elsewher to talk about prospects, I couldn’t be happier that he’s joining our favorite team! - Despite the fact he played in only half the games as most everyone after being drafted in June of this year, Brent Rooker was named MLBPipeline.com’s Minnesota Twins Hitting Prospect of the year. Stephen Gonsalves was is also recognized as their Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Here’s to hoping we see both at Target Field during the 2018 season! - In the season opener for Surprise, four Twins prospects made an impact on the game. - While MiLB.com lists the Saguaros roster dead last in “toolshed power rankings,” Tyler Jay is singled out as their Wild Card due his potential for increased optimism or head scratching heading into the 2018 season depending on his AFL performance. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week! Click here to view the article
×
×
  • Create New...